Advertisement

Annapolis Royal pool needs costly repairs to reopen by 2025

Local children jumping into the Annapolis Community Pool in this 2022 file photo. The pool will be closed for the 2024 season. The Friends of the Annapolis Pool Society is trying to raise up to $500,0000 to pay for a new pool liner and reopen in 2025. (Dan Froese Photography. - image credit)
Local children jumping into the Annapolis Community Pool in this 2022 file photo. The pool will be closed for the 2024 season. The Friends of the Annapolis Pool Society is trying to raise up to $500,0000 to pay for a new pool liner and reopen in 2025. (Dan Froese Photography. - image credit)

The non-profit group that runs the now-closed outdoor pool in Annapolis Royal, N.S., has called a meeting for Thursday evening to talk about what needs to be done to reopen it.

The pool's leaky 16-year-old liner can no longer be patched and needs to be replaced so the pool will remain closed this summer.

The Friends of the Annapolis Pool Society would like it back in operation by the summer of 2025, but group will need to raise a lot of money to pay for costly repairs to achieve that.

Anna Kate Newman, a member of the society, said the initial estimate put the cost at $500,000. Subsequent estimates have suggested the job could be done for half that.

"We do believe now we're looking at needing to find and fundraise $250,000 to bring our pool back," Newman told CBC News. "Annapolis Royal is a seaside town of about 500 folks. Though we are small, we are mighty."

"We believe we can do it with a bit of ingenuity."

Children of Annapolis Royal volunteering to help clean the pool in preparation for the 2023 season. The blue liner pictured on the walls and floor is leaking in several locations and needs to be peeled back and replaced before the pool can be used again. Pictured are Willa Lauzon, Dmitri Anson, Pippa Ewer, and Calder McCormick. (Permission granted by parents). Photo May 2023.

Children helping clean the pool in preparation for the 2023 season. The blue liner seen on the pool's the walls and floor needs to be replaced. (Anna Kate Newman)

The society has already requested money from the Nova Scotia government, from the town and the municipality of the County of Annapolis.

"We'll be tackling it from different directions, with grants, with direct donation requests from businesses and individuals, and also through good old-fashioned fundraising," said Newman.

Anna Kate Newman of the The Friends of the Annapolis Pool Society.
Anna Kate Newman of the The Friends of the Annapolis Pool Society.

Anna Kate Newman of the The Friends of the Annapolis Pool Society. (Anna Kate Newman)

For many families who live in Annapolis Royal or vacation nearby, the local outdoor pool is popular place to gather with fiends or to simply take a dip.

"It'll be a real bad summer without a place to cool off and a place for the kids to find their friends," said Newman who has two daughters aged nine and 12.

"In our community, there's not very much available for children our age."

Newman said there's no indoor pool in the district so families rely on outdoor pools in Annapolis Valley for swimming lessons and supervised swims. The pool also runs advanced lifeguard training for local lifeguards so they don't have to drive to  Halifax or Yarmouth for courses.

During a recent legislature committee meeting, Annapolis MLA Carmen Kerr lobbied on the group's behalf to the senior official in the Department of Culture, Tourism and Heritage.

After the meeting, deputy minister Justin Huston told CBC News rink and pool projects "don't always fit neatly into a program that we have, but we want to work with those communities, particularly if they're very important community assets to figure out how we just get it done."

Free public swim, August 2023. The pool had 9000 visits last summer and offered free public swimming multiple times a day and free swim lessons to the children of Annapolis County. Annapolis County has one of the highest rates of child poverty and the Society believes deeply that all children deserve to learn to swim.
Free public swim, August 2023. The pool had 9000 visits last summer and offered free public swimming multiple times a day and free swim lessons to the children of Annapolis County. Annapolis County has one of the highest rates of child poverty and the Society believes deeply that all children deserve to learn to swim.

The pool had 9,000 visits in 2023, offering free public swimming multiple times a day and free swim lessons, according to the Friends of the Annapolis Pool Society. (Anna Kate Newman)

He said there had been "positive discussions" between the society and the department.

"It really comes down to what's the project, what's the need, and what can we make happen," said Huston.

Kerr said he was hopeful the province would come through for his community.

Newman said she and other society members looked forward to Thursday's community meeting to come up with ideas for events and to expand their fundraising team.

MORE TOP STORIES