Swimming closer to reality

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ELMSDALE: What once was a long sought after dream for Kate Friars and the Municipality of East Hants, took a step closer as the first sod was turned for the new $19-million Aquatic Centre in Elmsdale.

Under overcast skies, Deputy Warden Wayne Green and Kings-Hants MP, and President of the Treasury Board, Scott Brison, along with two representatives of BIRD Construction, put the first shovels in the ground May 17 at the pool’s location, adjacent to the Lloyd E. Matheson Centre in the Elmsdale Business Park.

“East Hants has waited a very long time for a brand new aquatic facility,” said Friars, the Director of Parks and Recreation, and Culture. “We are so excited to be able to do the sod turning that will get construction underway.”

She said they are aiming for a grand opening in September 2019.

Municipality of East Hants Deputy Warden Wayne Greene and Kings-Hants Liberal MP Scott Brison are all smiles after shovelling some of the sod at the location of the new $19-million Aquatic Centre. Construction is expected to begin in the next week of two, with a target of September 2019 for a grand opening. (Healey photo)

BIRD Construction was the winning bidder of the facility, which was designed by MacLennan Jaunkains Miller Architects in association with TEAL Architects+Planners.

The new Aquatic Centre will include: a six-lane, 25-metre pool; outdoor splash park; fully accessible hot pool with capacity of 19 people; a waterslide; climbing wall; diving board; family/universal change room; men’s and women’s change rooms; multi-purpose room capable of holding 50 people; public lobby and pool viewing area; additional parking of up to 40 vehicles joining into the current parking lot; and much more.

It will be designed so all residents—young and old alike—can enjoy it, said Friars.

Brison was pleased to be on hand for the sod turning of the facility, which the federal government is investing $5.8 million into making it become a reality. The Municipality of East Hants is providing the remaining $13.2 million for the project.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate East Hants,” said Brison. “I enjoy working in partnership with the Municipality of East Hants. You have a strong municipal government and leaders here.

“Recreational infrastructure, like this Aquatic Centre, is absolutely essential. It provides families with the quality of opportunity in recreational activities.”

He said he believes all of East Hants is thrilled the pool is forthcoming.

“I think there’s a level of excitement and enthusiasm in this community from people of all ages,” said Brison. “It’s going to be another reason why East Hants is a great place to live.”

Construction is expected to start in the next week or two.

Deputy Warden Wayne Greene and Kings-Hants Liberal MP Scott Brison put the shovels in the ground. Representatives from BIRD Construction and MEH CAO Connie Nolan cheer them on during the sod turning ceremony on May 17. (Healey photo)