Public consultation has kicked off in Loyalist Township ahead of a complete revamp of the W.J. Henderson recreation centre.
A new pool is at the centre of the plans, and the project has already secured over $16 million in federal funding.
The two public information sessions held Monday provided area residents with a glimpse of early plans for the community hub at the rec centre and allow those same residents to give feedback.
“I love that the pool’s finally being upgraded,” said Loyalist Township resident Sheri Fardella. “It’s been a long time coming and the arena’s going to be accessible for everybody — kids in wheelchairs, adults in wheelchairs, just more space.”
“I’m looking for radiant floor heat,” said Kingston resident Harry Zandergen. “Why do I like it? Because it dries the water that picks up on the deck and in the change rooms very quickly so there’s no buildup of bacteria or mould or anything like that and it also makes the deck not slippery.”
The 25-metre pool, expanded to eight lanes, will include mutual change rooms that aren’t gender specific, though Loyalist Township Mayor Hegadorn said they will provide privacy.
“It would be a change room like at the store, so you’d be able to change privately and be able to come back out,” Hegadorn said. “You wouldn’t have the men’s, women’s. It’s more of a family-oriented change room.”
Along with the funding from the federal government, Hegadorn said the township has secured funding from Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack fund for a legacy room “for us to be able to bring forward the Indigenous history and also be able to elaborate on our journey to reconciliation as well.”
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A report reflecting public input, along with updated costs for the entire community hub project, is expected to be ready for Loyalist Township council by the summer.
“We’ll be assembling those drawings and we’ll be meeting with the local authorities to get approvals lined up for permits, all while developing the drawings and developing the real construction details,” said Chris Burbidge, project architect with MacLennan, Jaunkains Miller architects.
It’s anticipated that shovels will be in the ground this year and the facility, including the pool, will be fully operational by the end of 2025.
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