New indoor pool for Ile-a-la Crosse

by Rhonda Cooper

For the students and residents of the Northern Village of Ile-a-la Crosse, swimming will soon become a year-round activity. The new indoor pool is in the final stages of construction and once a manager is hired, it will be open to the public.

“We have 10 qualified life guards in Ile-a-la Crosse,” said Mayor Duane Favel. “Two of them are at the level where they can train other lifeguards. We won’t have any problems getting guards.”

The 40 feet by 20 feet pool has a depth of five feet. Instead of the typical above ground, circular pool, the Ile-a-la Crosse pool is an outdoor ground pool inside the former Friendship Centre. Howard Thompson of Meadow Lake is overseeing the engineering and renovation/construction of the facility.

“Before we decide to proceed with a project, we determine its long-term sustainability,” said Favel. “It is important it be self-sufficient.”

The new aquatic centre will also hold a hot tub and a fitness area. Cardio equipment such as treadmills, bikes and steppers will be lined up against the wall overlooking the pool area.

“This way parents can work out and watch their children in the pool at the same time,” said Favel.

Lon Bergerson, director of education for the Ile-a-la Cross School division noted, “Our students are already looking forward to using the pool once it is opened.”

Water safety and swimming lessons will be part of the new aquatic centre’s mandate. Because the village is located beside a lake, the goal is to have the pool open eight months of the year and closed in the summer for regular maintenance.

“We have a lovely beach that people use in the summer so swimming lessons will be offered there during those months,” said Favel.

Engineer Howard Thompson noted the pool runs on continuous filtration system. There are also new change rooms with showers and there will be a locker area in the pool for swimmers to keep their belongings.

“There will be seven people employed here,” said Favel. “We plan to open the pool to other schools for swimming lessons.”

The grand opening of the new facility is slated for early spring.


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