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Fort Macleod opens its new outdoor pool

Citizen of the Year Joella Bevan and Mayor Brent Feyter cut the ribbon Wednesday to officially open the new pool.

Hundreds people turned out Wednesday for one of the biggest events of the summer: the grand opening of the new outdoor pool.

Two girls enjoy a float in the new pool.

Adults and children packed the spacious new pool area for a free public swim, as well as hamburgers and smokies provided by Fortis Alberta.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome each and every one of you today,” Town of Fort Macleod chief administrative officer Sue Keenan said. “I hope you find this facility as magnificent as we do.”

The new $3.5-million outdoor pool replaces one first built on the site in 1946.

The new pool features a modern 25-metre, six-lane lap pool compete with a one-metre diving board and climbing wall.

The pool also has a lazy river, hydrojets and a water umbrella.

A waterslide will be installed in the northwest corner later this summer.

Keenan commended the work of Acapulco Pools president Bernie Gall and his crew for their work on the outdoor pool.

“Thank you Bernie and your staff for the wonderful job that you’ve done,” Keenan said.

Keenan noted that although Acapulco Pools is based in Ontario, 90 per cent of the trades and other work was sourced in Alberta, with a large portion in Fort Macleod.

Shade structures have yet to arrive, and the waterslide is to be in place some time in August.

Keenan said any other deficiencies will be addressed by the time the pool opens for the 2022 season.

Also planned for the opening of the 2022 season is unveiling of the donor recognition wall that will go up on the pool’s mechanical building.

“It is in development,” Keenan said.

Keenan told the audience that generous contributions from businesses, organizations and individuals helped the town top its fund-raising goal of $300,000.

That includes $285,000 in cash and about $25,000 in gifts in kind.

Keenan also applauded the work of town staff on the project, including director operations Adrian Pedro, director of finance Kris Holbeck, community and protective services director Liisa Gillingham, administrative assistant Meranda Day Chief and communications consultant Carmen Toth.

“The boys here who run the facilities have been sensational and we want to thank them too,” Keenan added.

Keenan pointed out another new feature of the pool — the large mural on the east wall of the arena.

“We’re really proud today to point you in the direction of our new mural,” Keenan said. “We’re really proud of it, and we hope the community is too.”

The mural was painted by Edmonton artists Lacey Jane and Layla Foreman. Foreman was born and raised in Fort Macleod.

Finally, Keenan thanked town council for its support of the project.

“We have a really good council,” Keenan said. “They’re very progressive. They’re outside the box thinkers and it’s because of their vision and leadership, and of course keeping us on track with how we were spending the money, that we have the pool here today that we do.”

Mayor Brent Feyter opened his remarks by thanking Keenan for her work on the pool project.

“She was a big part of making this happen,” Feyter said.

Feyter also thanked his council.

“It’s no small project. There was a lot of debate and discussion,” Feyter said. “But as you can see we made this commitment for you, the people.”

“We want to turn it over to you. Enjoy it, make the most of it. It’s something to be proud of and we hope we can use it for many years to come.”

Accompanied by council and some of the community’s young people, Citizen of the Year Joella Bevan and Mayor Brent Feyter cut the ribbon to officially open the pool.”

Following the opening remarks, staff from Fortis Alberta served more than 500 hamburgers and smokies in a free barbecue.

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