WILKIE - The location for a new pool for Wilkie is to be built between the St. James Catholic Church and the Kinsmen outdoor skating rink, south of the McLurg football field, now that a lease has been approved by the school division, which owns the property.
The land is to be leased long-term from the Living Sky School Division, with the understanding that it will be subdivided and transferred to the Town of Wilkie in the future. The school board approved the lease at their Feb. 15 meeting, with Lonny Darroch's finance report reading that,
"The town has been successful in their application for federal funding for the new community swimming pool. However, they need to proceed quickly with the application and need verification that they have access to that property."
The board motion passed unanimously, with Trustee Nicole Kobelsky raising one concern about the possibility of it affecting the rink.
After their originally planned location to build a new pool in Wilkie fell through after issues with the sewer, the Town of Wilkie received news that they were approved for a grant to build a new outdoor swimming pool in 2022, and they began looking for a new location to build it.
“The initial location that we chose will cause some difficulty with regards to the sewer, so we have chosen an alternate location,” read a letter from Lori Fenrich, Wilkie’s park and recreation director, sent to the Living Sky School Division that June.
Fenrich has told SASKTODAY.ca she believes that the new location is much better, including easier access to water mains and a lack of sewer-based complications.
“...the water mains are right at the corner of McLurg, and is easier access for all things involved,” Fenrich said to the News-Optimist, adding that it will be easier for students walking to the pool or staff using it for programming.
“...it’s a way better location.”
Fenrich also noted that the new pool will not affect the Kinsmen rink.
“No. No, oh gosh no…what’s been utilized for the new pool location is just grass,” Fenrich said.
The town’s share of the $2.67 million project is approximately $713,000, with the Wilkie and District Culture Parks and Recreation Board putting all profits from their events into a pool reserve that will be used as part of the municipality’s share.
“Fundraising is definitely an ongoing process,” Fenrich said, adding that the project has raised around $140,000, almost a fifth of the town’s contribution.
The next town fundraiser is set for June 17 with The Long Run Eagle Tribute Band. The event includes a silent auction, is 19 plus, and starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $40.They are also hoping to timeline a fall fundraiser but are being mindful of the busy season for the residents of Wilkie busy with agriculture.
“It should be available to the largest amount of people who have to schedule around spraying, seeding, harvest, and different things like that.”
When asked if the town considered building an indoor pool, Fenrich said that the town was concerned about the large price attached to that.
“We didn’t even look into it, it wasn’t even something that was attainable,” Fenrich said, adding that they were expecting an indoor pool to triple the price, if not more.
If you have an idea for a fundraiser, please contact Lori Fenrich at the town office at 306-843-2692 or email@example.com.