City councillors are considering saving some of the heritage from the old Kinsmen Aquatic Centre before the wrecking ball hits later this year.
The facility is slated for closure when the new aquatic centre opens later this summer. Council made a decision this spring to demolish the old centre after consultants’ reports came back suggesting the required upgrades to convert it would have cost millions of dollars. But the move is also drawing concern from the Battlefords Heritage Society who have voiced support for saving the facility.
At Monday’s meeting, however, councillors contemplated ways in which some portions of the existing building could be preserved.
It was suggested by Counillor Trent Houk that the visible arches inside the facility could be taken out and used elsewhere as a way to preserve its heritage.
He pointed to the example of how Russell, Man. kept an arch from its old arena and put it across its main street.
Houk said one of the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre arches could go in a city park or perhaps at the Don Ross Centre.
“It would be nice to see us keep a little bit of our heritage,” said Houk.
The idea did gain favor from other councillors. Counillor Don Buglas noted the clock at the library is from the original post office, and there are other examples in the community he pointed to.
Administration will look into the possibilities suggested.
The community consultation process has started with respect to a proposal to build seniors’ assisted living on the site.
Council must still decide on two bylaws, including a zoning change, that would give the go-ahead to a 94-unit condo and apartment for seniors.
A public hearing is to be held in conjunction with that council meeting as well. In speaking to reporters after Monday’s meeting Mayor Ian Hamilton said the project was still currently in the stage of community consultation, leading up to council’s final decision.
He notes there were “indications of strong support for the project.”
Hamilton has said the City is aware many have left the community because that level of service was not available to them, but the City has also been made away that “some of those people would love to move back. So we’re quite excited about the prospect of this project.”