A new non-profit organization wants to buy Scona Pool and reopen it to the public.
The city closed the pool Oct. 3 due to costly repairs and system failures, but the Scona Pool Community Foundation — formed in early September — thinks it can raise $1 million to reopen it.
Andrew Burke, director of business development and programming for the foundation, said they wanted to purchase the facility for $1 and take full responsibility for repairs and ongoing maintenance and continue to manage the programming.
Burke, former chief lifeguard at Scona Pool and a certified pool operator with the Alberta Association of Recreation Facility Personnel, said if the plan is accepted, they will commit to extending swimming hours for the public and reducing costs.
The Scona Pool is located in the Queen Alexandra neighborhood of Edmonton.
The 65-year-old facility was closed after the city determined the $6 million repair bill was too expensive for them.
In a report posted on the city’s website in late September, the city said the plant’s heating plant and heat exchanger had stopped working.
So far, the foundation has raised $11,000 in pledges, though Burke said she wouldn’t raise anything until she got the go-ahead from the city, and that she concluded. an agreement with a local union to replace the heat exchanger free of charge.
“That’s $86,300 less than the report,” he told CBC. Edmonton AM this week.
The City of Edmonton has confirmed that it is in talks with the foundation.
“At this time, it is premature to discuss a possible sale of the facility,” Pascale Ladouceur, director of the city’s infrastructure planning and design branch, said in an email.
“The sale of any city property is a complete process. In this case, even more complex because the Edmonton Public School Board owns the land the pool is built on and should be involved in all discussions.”
Burke said they want to own the pool as soon as possible and hope to have it reopened by the end of November.
“We don’t need downtime because the structure according to the report is an acceptable condition,” he said.
They plan to work on repairs while simultaneously operating the pool to save money, Burke said.
The foundation is in talks with labor groups and businesses for donations and sponsorships and they are targeting grants such as the province’s community facilities improvement program. Burke said the reason their fundraising goal is $1 million is so the province can match it through this program.
In the event of a reopening, the non-profit organization plans to keep the pool operational until the Rollie Miles Leisure Center opens. However, so far the city council has only approved funding for the preliminary design of the project.