Closure of Inglewood and Beltline pools could be paused after pushback

Two inner-city pools that were expected to fall victim to the city's recent $60-million in cuts may have been granted a temporary reprieve.

The Beltline Aquatic and Fitness Centre and the Inglewood Aquatic Centre were set to shut down on Jan. 1, 2020, but pushback from frequent users of those facilities has slowed the process.

Jenny Jensen with the Calgary Outdoor Swimming Pools Association says the group has asked the city for information in order to make a pitch to keep the indoor pools open.

Her organization was instrumental in saving the city's outdoor swimming facilities from closure 15 years ago.

"It was the city and the Calgary Outdoor Swimming Pools Association working together to come up with a solution that worked for everybody," Jensen said. "I think that's possible again."

Both pools, which have been deemed unprofitable by officials, have been in operation for more than half a century — the Beltine pool having opened in 1954 and the Inglewood facility in 1963.

Potential delay

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart said a vote from council to explore alternatives would, at the very least, delay the closure of the two facilities.

"This is going to be delayed, and we're going to have to come up with probably some bridge financing," she said. "So that we do this properly, we think this through, we look at the consequences, we look at the impact this is going to have on the people who are using it."

A decision on whether or not to pause the process will be made by council later this month.