Matsqui Village Pool is now just a memory.
Several months after council decided to permanently close the outdoor facility, construction crews are on site, filling in the structure in preparation for a new playground, picnic area, washrooms and sports court.
“We are not going to demolish the pool, we’re filling it in,” said Keith Senft, manager of parks projects for the city.
The plan is to drain the pool, fill it with aggregate and then cap the area with asphalt to create a sports court.
“It could be tennis or basketball, we don’t know yet,” said Senft.
Mark Taylor, general manager of parks recreation and culture, said a meeting will be held with local residents to determine what kind of sports court is wanted.
The renovation project, which includes tearing down part of the existing building and remodelling it for washrooms and a changing area for the nearby ball park, is budgeted to cost $250,000.
“Filling in the pool was more cost-effective than hauling away all the concrete,” said Taylor.
The design will include a covered picnic area as well.
Opened in the 1960s in Matsqui Village Park, the small outdoor pool was closed last year, due to a leak that was saturating the surrounding soil with chlorinated water.
An inspection revealed several leaks throughout the tank. An estimated $1 million would have been needed to bring the pool up to code and another $70,000 a year in operating costs.
The pool’s fate has been up in the air for years. Staff had recommended closing it in 2002 but a protest from Matsqui Village residents kept it running.