New Pool Ready In 2020

If you want to go for a swim at the Buffalo Pound Provincial Park pool this Summer you are going to be disappointed but come the 2020 season you are going to be a very happy camper.

On Monday the Provincial Government released news of the design for a new modernized public pool at the Provincial Park.

The new pool’s design will not be circular but rectangular and include universal use features.

Buffalo Pound Provincial park is located approximately 20 minutes northeast of Moose Jaw. The original pool was built in 1972 but had to be closed last July due to a major leak which could not be easily accessed.

Artists Rendition of New Pool

Artists Rendition of New Pool

The new pool will be built on the same site as the old pool - which is now removed - and will include some new buildings such as an office and filtration building but at the same time make use of existing facilities where possible to keep overall costs down.

“The new swimming pool is designed to meet a wide range of users,” said Byron Davis, Executive Director for Provincial Park Infrastructure and Planning in a interview with MJ Independent.

“There will be a beach entry area in part of the pool which is designed for children and those with mobility issues,” Davis said.

Asked about how the pool is an improvement for people with disabilities and those with mobility issues he said the pool has been specifically designed to allow much easier access for everyone.

“It is designed to accomodate a wheelchair that is designed to go into the water.”

A beach entry is where there is no lip in the pool and you simply walk into the water. The old pool had a lip where a person had to step in and out of the water at the edge which limited the range of users able to use the facility.

The deepest portion of the pool will be six feet deep will not be deep enough for diving but it will allow swimming lessons and lane swimming for those interested in it. Dependent on the amount of water in the old pool the deepest depth at the center of the now demolished facility was only five feet.

“The new pool’s footprint will be about 4000 square feet, it is not as large in terms of footprint as the old pool (which had a dated circular design) but it is better than what it is replacing.”

The new pool is designed to accomodate 250 swimmers dependent on the number of lifeguards available and on duty.

Last July the existing pool, built in 1972, had to be closed due to a major water leak. An examination found to access and repair the leak would not be cost effective due to the need to dig up a major portion of the old pool to access and repair the leak.

The new pool is needed he said because of the quality of the lake water in Buffalo Pound which has had algae alerts in the past. Buffalo Pound in reality is a dammed up stream bed which has water fed to it from the Lake Diefenbaker/Gardner Dam facility to the west of it.

“Sometimes lake water can be a problem and there is still a large need for a pool at the park,” Davis said.

People who are worried that funds are being diverted from the operational side of the park do not need to be worried as the funding for the $2.5 million project is coming out of the Provincial Parks capital budget and NOT from the annual budget to operate the park.

The new pool will be constructed during 2019 and is slated to open in late June 2020. Tenders for construction will be released in the next couple of weeks.

The Provincial Parks capital budget has averaged about $11 million annually and since 2008 approximately $110 million has been spent on capital works at Saskatchewan’s provincial parks for upgrades and new facilities.

The highly popular Buffalo Pound Provincial Park has been the recipient of other capital works in the recently with the development of the Trails Inn camground and electrified sites. Another welcomed addition has been a major upgrade to the existing boat launch as well as the parking area.

“Its been well received by users,” he said about the improved boat launch facilitiy.

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