The community of Dugald is getting a pool as part of a somewhat unique project.
Springfield Mayor Tiffany Fell says the aquatic centre will be connected to the Dugald Place assisted living expansion. She notes Dugal Place is a branch of Dugald Estates, a 55-plus facility.
When the assisted living project was first proposed, Fell says she pushed for a recreational component to be added.
"I suggested maybe there was some way that we could get a pool attached or an aquatic facility attached and the committee really dug into that idea and worked with a consultant and the consultant was able to come up with a great addition to the building of the aquatic centre and it will be available to the seniors in both buildings as well as the community as a whole."
Fell says it may seem like an odd choice to build an aquatic centre alongside an assisted living facility, but they believe it will be a great combination and will result in a diverse and all-inclusive facility.
"It is going to be a six-lane junior Olympic size pool but it does have a beach entrance and then there is going to be some pieces of equipment at the beginning of the beach entrance for toddlers and for babies. So, if older kids are having swimming lessons or seniors are having an aquatics lesson and their grandchild are there, they can actually be on the other side playing."
And that’s not all, Fell adds "there is actually a cafe attached, so your parents and grandparents can sit in this cafe and have coffee and a snack while the kids are in the pool. We are going to be able to rent it out for parties as well. It is just a great combination of features."
The province is also getting involved. Springfield-Ritchot MLA Ron Schuler says this aquatic centre project is receiving a $300,000 provincial grant through the Building Sustainable Communities program.
He says he is excited by this innovative, community-building project.
"Right across the street is a daycare and the elementary and middle school. The community will have access to this as well and it really works because then you have a good combination of seniors that need it at certain times and schools in the community need it at other times. This is a really good investment."
Schuler also praises Springfield Heritage Housing Inc., the not-for-profit community organization behind Dugald Estates and Dugald Place, noting they have worked incredibly hard to lift up and improve their community.
Fell says this is a first for Dugald and the community is incredibly excited.