YWCA Saskatoon’s Pool Permanent Closure Making Way For New Employment and Learning Centre Planning
Employment & Learning, Fitness on 25th, YWCA News, YWCA Updates
After operating for 38 years, the pool at the YWCA Saskatoon is closed permanently. The pool was initially closed for repairs in March of this year after re-opening briefly following the temporary closure mandated in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The YWCA Saskatoon undertook a thorough review of the pool usage, the increasing operational costs, the required repairs, upgrades, and ongoing maintenance costs and concluded that it was no longer viable to continue to operate the facility.
Indeed, the overall usage of the pool has declined steadily for many years and it has become clear that other services must take precedent over the annual losses incurred by the pool operations.
“We know that our clients’ needs have evolved and today our clients have a greater need for employment and learning services, than for aquatic programming,” said Cara Bahr, CEO of the YWCA Saskatoon.
“Currently, we rent space elsewhere in the city to deliver these much-needed services. Now, we plan to repurpose the pool area to build an employment and learning centre and offer these services and programs in our own facility,” added Cara.
Having a dedicated facility within the YWCA’s existing footprint, will make it easier for clients to access services and allow for improved and diversified programming to help ensure that women and their families are able to receive the assistance they need.
The plans for the repurposing of the pool area are still preliminary, however the YWCA Saskatoon leadership is considering various options in addition to the employment and learning centre. For example, there may be a possibility of adding crisis shelter and residence rooms for women and their families. The plans will be contingent on the YWCA Saskatoon’s ability to raise the necessary funds to build and maintain the new facility on the footprint of the now permanently closed pool.
Although the pool is closing, the YWCA fitness centre will remain open and many upgrades are already planned for the fitness facility in the coming weeks.
“We want to thank the many members, users and supporters of the pool during its nearly four decades of operation,” said Jodi Manastyrski, President of the Board of Directors of the YWCA Saskatoon.
“Closing the pool was not an easy decision as it was a longstanding part of our organization’s offering for physical and mental well-being activities. But the need was greater to focus on the delivery of other crucial services for our clients,” explained Jodi.
Beyond the pool, the YWCA Saskatoon serves over 3,000 individuals annually and offers diverse services and programs, including child development services, employability skills and employment workshops, and short-term emergency shelter. “We hope that we can count on the continued support of our members, sponsors and donors as we embark on the planning phase to create a much-needed employment and learning centre to advance reconciliation, independence, wellness, and equal opportunities for girls, women and their families, particularly in the ongoing and increasingly difficult economic situation that many of them face today,” concluded Cara.
YWCA Saskatoon is a vibrant, community-based organization that responds to the needs of women and their families in Saskatoon, providing both preventative and emergent services. We are a member of YWCA Canada and our funding comes from government, granting agencies, charitable donations, and fee-for-service. To learn more about our services and programs, please visit www.ywcasaskatoon.com.
Director of Development & Engagement