Cathy Dunn and her sons joined the protest rally Saturday at the site of the planned Aldergrove Recreation Centre.

Pool protesters picket planned site

Over the course of three hours protesters rallied outside the Fraser Highway location of the planned Aldergrove Recreation Centre Saturday.

Over the course of three hours protesters rallied outside the Fraser Highway location of the planned Aldergrove Recreation Centre Saturday.

They unfurled a huge banner that called on Township council to build a larger multi-purpose aquatic centre instead of the outdoor facilities currently under construction.

They gathered petition names as well, in their quest to have the project redesigned.

Spokesperson Cathy Dunn said the planned 25-metre lane pool is too limited in its uses, and needs a deep end and a shallow end so that swimmers can jump in the deep end and the handicapped and infants can walk in the shallow end. She also says the larger pool needs to be enclosed.

“Aldergrove needs something more inclusive, and our fear is that this won’t attract the numbers and so the Township will pull back on life guards and shut it down in the winter months,” said Dunn.

“I’ve lived here for 20 years and have been frustrated by the lack of amenities here. I think it’s wonderful that the other stuff (ice arena, community rooms etc.) has been incorporated into the plan, but an outdoor pool 365 days a year is not feasible.”

Protest organizer Alice Swenson said the support shown by passersby, “validates what we have been saying: the community needs a swimming facility that is open 12 months of the year.”

“We are not a destination resort,” she added in reference to the outdoor waterslides and other aquatic play areas that will be built.

Township mayor Jack Froese was out of town at a conference and unavailable for comment.

However, deputy mayor Bob Long told The Star that the Township will “forge ahead with the current plan,” which was unanimously approved by council in a June 2015 vote.

“We can’t change it now.”

Petition signatures were collected at the rally on Saturday.

A young woman creates her own placard at the pool protest Saturday.

Protesters unfurled a large banner calling for a “pool for everyone” Saturday at the site of the planned Aldergrove Recreation Centre.