Scona Pool matters. It matters to the Scona Lords swim team. It matters to students attending the surrounding schools. Many of these schools —  Allendale, Queen Alexandra, Mount Carmel and others —  are within walking distance. It also matters to the surrounding communities. It also matters that we replace Scona Pool when the time comes. That time is now. 

Alongside countless neighbours, I’ve been at the forefront of the push to keep Scona Pool open since 2009, when I brought my 10 month old baby to City Hall. That baby is now entering junior high next year. We still don’t have a permanent solution for Scona Pool. However, we will be one step closer if all goes according to plan on Monday, June 7, 2021

City Council will be making budget adjustments and there’s an amendment on the table to include design funding for Rollie Miles Rec Centre. It is imperative that Council get design funding underway so that we’re ready to look at construction as part of the 2023-2026 Capital Budget. This will put my once 10-month-old at 17 years old by the time Rollie Miles Rec Centre is built to replace Scona Pool. Time flies.

Julie holds her ten-month-old daughter in a carrier after addressing city council.

Here are some recent highlights our team of community leaders have done to keep Scona Pool and Rollie Miles afloat (you’ll have to watch this YouTube presentation for a fuller history): 

  • Scona Pool teamed up with Eastglen and Oliver advocates to say this isn’t just a facility by facility issue – this is a question of our values. We need to keep mature neighbourhood amenities available for increasingly densely populated infill areas.
  • Rollie Miles will pilot a new model for small scale local recreation. We don’t need bells and whistles. We need to be functional and practical.
  • Rollie Miles will also pilot alternative financing for building, construction and maintenance.
  • Getting Rollie miles built as a pilot means we can begin to solve the other recreation needs of communities across Edmonton, including the rec needs alongside our schools.

That last bullet point is especially important. This will require collaboration. It will also still require us to uphold the importance of valuing public spaces. If we can build incredible, brand new community-hub style high schools like Dr. Anne Anderson, we can work together to ensure our existing schools retain the amenities they have. In this case, Strathcona High School and surrounding high schools will require that Scona Pool be replaced by Rollie Miles Rec Centre. 

As your trustee, I will continue to champion recreation so that we can continue to build schools as community hubs. The social, physical and mental benefits of recreation tied to our educational and community spaces is too important not to. Just ask any Scona Lords swim team alumni.

Working with you for Education Grounded in Community,

Julie Kusiek

EPSB Ward F Trustee Candidate

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