I decided to write this letter to voice my disappointment with the decision to keep the new swimming pool at six lanes, not the eight lanes the North Battleford swim club had proposed.
First of all, I want it to be known I am and have always been 100 per cent behind the multiplex project. We have donated personally to the project and our two children, with some help from some of their friends, have raised over $10,000 with the Gratitude Rocks fundraiser.
As the busiest facility in the Battlefords, the aquatic centre will be the anchor building for the CU Plex. The reason for wanting eight lanes versus six is the fact that, unless you have an eight-lane swim meet, the Saskatoon and Regina swim clubs will not attend. Our daughter is a member of the Orcas swim team and they did not have a home meet in North Battleford this year because they would have lost money due to the small number of swimmers who commited to a six-lane swim meeting. Yes, a six-lane meet is possible, the only trouble is, nobody will show up. This also means never hosting a provincial qualifier or provincial finals meet that could bring in 400 plus swimmers and their families to spend their hard earned money in our community. I realize adding two extra lanes will be an extra cost, but what is the cost of not being able to host these events for the next 40 years? As a result of this decision, as a club we are talking about fundraising to rent the Shaw Centre in Saskatoon next year so we can host our own swim meet. This means more dollars taken out of our community.
Our facilities must be built with our future growth in mind. I know personally the amount of passion and hard work that went into our bid to host the Royal Bank Cup, and to those involved, you did a great job. But our bid fell short due to the facilities we had to offer, not because larger centres also put in a bid. The Royal Bank Cup is now set to take place in the booming metropolis of Humboldt (6,000 people give or take), but their facilities are built to host these types of events. And, as a result, huge dollars will be left in their business community. I get that we can't compete with Saskatoon or Regina, but explain to me why we play second fiddle to the Humboldts of the world.
We now have a chance to get it right. Extra people in town results in extra dollars left in all our pockets. This business community is an integral part of the fundraising effort for this project, so why would we build a facility that would not have the opportunity to bring all the outside dollars possible to these businesses and our community.