BIBLE HILL – It was a day of celebrating and honouring the hard work involved in keeping Scotia Pool open.
On June 23, the pool at Perennia Park in Bible Hill was re-named the Glen W. Smith Community Pool, after a $300,000 donation was made in Smith’s name. His daughter, Glenda Bower, is the president of the Scotia Pool Society, which has been fighting for years to keep the pool open and helped make significant improvements to.
“It warms my heart,” said Bower, about the facility being re-named after her father. “I think he would be pleased to have his name on the building. My father was one of those very generous men but you never knew he was doing it. He was always behind the scenes.
“It’s an honour, and he needed to be honoured. He was an amazing man.”
Over the course of the last few years, a lot of work has gone into the now 44-year-old facility, including a complete re-paint of the actual pool and deck re-tiling. It was closed for a period of six weeks as volunteers worked tirelessly to get it ready to open to the public.
During the re-opening celebration, roughly 100 people were in attendance, including provincial and municipal dignitaries, business representatives, and members of the community.
“Today, the Scotia Pool Society is proud of what has been accomplished,” Bower told those gathered.
She explained there were countless protests, meetings, interviews, presentations and fundraisers.
“It was three years of struggling, pleading, begging, and asking for help,” she said.
Then came the donation from Bower’s mother, Ann Smith, in memory of Glen. Bower called it a game changer.
“This donation gave us hope that we could succeed. It gave us the much needed money to apply for grants for upgrades you see today. It gave Wilsons a reason to sponsor our heating upgrade, which was our first big success. Now we had leverage. We had community support,” she said.
With improvements made to the facility, they brought a decrease to the overhead. But there’s still more to be done, and replacing the roof is the next priority.
“Our roof has recently been diagnosed as rotted, so we need to replace the roof,” Bower said, adding they weren’t expecting that this year.
Some brickwork needs to be replaced, while others need to be re-pointed. The walkway also needs fixing to become more even to help those with mobility difficulties. The windows also need to be redone.
“Does it all have to be done this year? No. The roof is the priority, it needs to be done.”
Bower said the estimates for the roof range from $40,000 to more than $100,000, and the society doesn’t have enough money for repairs. She’s hoping more donations will come their way.
“Particularly donations in memory of my dad. He had a lot of very influential businessmen in his world and I’m hoping some of them will step up and make a donation to us,” she said.
The province has been approached for funding, however has declined to assist the society. The Department of Agriculture, said Bower, owns the building, however the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is responsible for any repairs.