Town of St. Marys staff were on hand in the community centre at the PRCon the evening of the 15th surrounded by pictures and details of what the future might hold for Cadzow Park and seeking public input. The park’s iconic children’s swimming pool is set to turn 90 years old later this summer and, though the pool would be removed based on the two park design concepts preferred by Council, Director of Community Services Stephanie Ische said “Council hasn’t determined whether the pool will be closed or open.”
“They’re looking for additional feedback from the community,” she said. “That’s what they’d like to see.”
Lily and Adrianna Black were two young St. Marys residents who came out Wednesday evening in support of keeping the pool operational. “We want to keep the pool,” Lily said. “We like it a lot because it has a big slide and a little slide.”
Information prepared by Ische about the pool indicated that it is leaking and requires repairs, though the source and extent of the leaking is unknown. Until repair work begins and buried piping is exposed, it is also unknown how much repairing the leaks could cost. A small leak would cost around $10,000, while a full rehab of the pool would sit in the $400,000 range, and a full replacement would cost over $1.4 million.
There is a lot to like in the two concepts designed by landscape architecture planners Stempski Kelly Associates Inc., which Council selected as preferred options last year. Both design options include the construction of a new picnic pavilion, a splash pad, an improved playground, and new parking lot access from Tracy Street. Both concepts would retain Cadzow’s “pool house” for its dual use as the St. Marys Museum’s “Barn” on its upper level and its lower level public washrooms.
The defining features of Design Concept ‘C’ include a multipurpose “event lawn” where the pool is currently located, that could be rented for events, used by the museum, host lawn bowling, croquet or lawn bowling games, or even house a community vegetable garden, as well as a gazebo/bandstand. Its estimated total cost is between $459,007 and $769,307.
What stands out about Concept ‘D’ is an amphiteatre that could include a covered stage, and a new accessible walkway connecting the new pavilion in the south east corner of the park to the museum. It would be the more expensive of the two options, with a total estimated cost of between $466,071 and $851,489.
Neither concept is etched in stone, Ische said. “If there are different ideas that people like from the different concepts, that’s definitely what we want to hear,” she said. “They’re interchangeable. And, if they’re something else they’d like to see, let us know that too.”
Some visitors to the open house expressed their interest in seeing a “great entrance way” to the museum being built, “with flowers on either side, as well a bandshell of some sort.” Of the two options, they said they preferred ‘D.’
They also expressed hope that local organizations would be able to unite and fundraise behind a single concept, rather than splitting up and attempting to fundraise different Cadzow Park projects individually. “There are only so many dollars to get,” they said.
Some upcoming events at Cadzow include a free Canada Day swim sponsored by Tim Hortons on July 1 from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm, and the Seventh Annual “Pooch Plunge” on Sept. 4.