Bible Hill, NS
August 12, 2017
The Village of Bible Hill is the home of Scotia Pool which plays a vital role in fun and fitness for all. Five years ago, the Scotia Pool was under threat of losing all sources of funding when the grassroots of our community took to the streets with protests, went to meetings with levels of government, went to the media and generally did everything they knew of to bring awareness of what the loss of Scotia Pool would mean to our community. We were successful in securing funding for another year and then the hard work began to find ways to make our swimming pool more viable and efficient. Fund raising began, finding local donors to support our dream for Scotia Pool and meetings with municipal government through to federal government. In January 2015, the NS Provincial Government withdrew their envelope costs financial support and gave the Scotia Pool Society, a non- profit charitable management board, a ten year lease of the provincially owned building with the caveat that the Scotia Pool Society be responsible for all building maintenance, repairs and operating costs. The Society lobbied the County of Colchester for operating funding and has continued to do so every year. The County of Colchester has funded the Scotia Pool, since 1999 and has been a main reason for this facility still being open. The local business community stepped up to the plate and have purchased advertising signs that are displayed at the pool for $200 a year. Local business has also made donations to modernizing the facility, which was opened in 1973. Wilson's Heating donated and installed a propane boiler heating system. A local resident, Ann Smith donated $300,000 in memory of her husband, Glen W Smith, for upgrading the interior of this facility because she believed in the value of maintaining this pool for our community. With these donations, fund raising and an ACOA grant, the Society has invested $500,000 upgrading the interior of our pool. We believe that all of this community support demonstrates the commitment our facility has from the municipal government, local businesses, and local people have for the Scotia Pool. Service groups have worked together to provide many necessary items for the pool including a chair lift, life jackets, recreational and fitness tools for the pool. We offer swimming lessons year round for all ages, group & individual; we have summer day camps for the children which include swimming lessons; Mom and Tot swimming times; Family swims, open swims, lane swims and soon an all gender swim; Aquafit, Aqua Therapy,Aqua Yoga and Aqua Zumba are all offered; we have pool rentals which are very popular for children's birthday parties and for school groups and service groups; and we offer senior lane swims. The pool chair lift is for those members of our community which require assistance entering and exiting the pool, the only one in our area. Being a warm water pool, we also offer a rehabilitation environment and have patrons who have had back surgery, knee/hip replacement, chronic pain and many other physical injuries or limitations an an opportunity to rehabilitate their bodies. It is truly a facility that supports all levels, ages and ability of fitness in our community. Various testimonials have included the following phrases: "changed my life"; "love this pool"; "got me off pain medication", "kept me out of a wheelchair"; allowed a knee injury to heal"; "saved my life". As you can see, our people are passionate about Scotia Pool. They believe in the value the pool offers the community. They are prepared to do what it takes to keep this pool. They support the pool by attending it, by making donations and by supporting our fund raisers. Our pool provides recreation, fitness, increases the mental well being of our families and citizens and provides a venue to meet new people or spend time with friends. Important does not begin to describe what Scotia Pool means to our people.
This $250,000 would mean that the exterior of our facility could be rehabilitated, The pool building currently needs a new roof ( $95,500 plus tax) new windows (still waiting for a quote) , a new walkway ($6500.00 plus tax) and brick replacement and repointing ( $65,000 plus tax). With the interior upgrades completed now the exterior is a priority, The roof has been leaking for two years and has been patched to stop the leaks, however this is a bandaid solution. The solution is to replace the roof which involves removing the existing roof down to the cedar interior roof structure and rebuilding it up to a new flat roof. Rotted structure needs to be removed to prevent mould growth. The existing window frames have rusted and are no longer tight so heat loss is significant. Replacement is the only option. The concrete walkway has broken and heaves in the spring and winter, leaving it very uneven. This makes for a tripping hazard and makes it very difficult for our wheelchair patrons and walker patrons to access the pool. The children also trip and fall in their excitement to go swimming. The entire exterior is a brick which has not had many repairs since the building was constructed in 1973. The facade of the brick is crumbling and the motor is falling out. Many of the bricks need to be replaced and the entire building needs to be repointed. If this is not done, the building will continue to deteriorate and become unrepairable. The goal of the Scotia Pool Society is to complete these repairs to preserve this swimming pool for years to come. To replace this facility would cost millions of dollars and would be a waste when this building can be saved for less than $300,000. Funding is necessary to save this warm water swimming pool. This pool is a lifeline for many people. It provides recreation for all, a low impact fitness facility, a place to meet friends or spend time with friends and a rehabilitation facility for those in need of recovery space. Funding our structure would preserve this pool for many years to come.
The benefits of a warm water pool have been documented and to our knowledge, the Scotia Pool is the only full size warm water pool in our province. The two largest groups to use this pool are children and seniors with rehabilitation patients a close third. These are the most vulnerable segments of our society and their recreational and fitness needs are our number one priority. Maintaining the Scotia Pool is the sole goal of the 100% volunteer management board. Volunteers are the backbone of Scotia Pool with the only paid staff being the pool manager, the lifeguards, swimming instructors and customer service representatives. This small ( 10 people) group of volunteers has managed to keep the Scotia Pool open and made it more viable in the past five years. Winning funding would make a huge difference to amount of time, effort and commitment of our volunteers. They work hard each and every day to increase efficiency in order to reduce operating costs. Reducing overhead costs is necessary to meet our operational budget. To date the operating costs have been reduced by lowering our heating costs ( replacement of oil burning furnace with a propane boiler), installation of LED lighting ( replaced sodium lights thereby decreasing our electrical costs for lighting) and replacement of the HVAC system ( recirculates the heat from the air into the pool water and decreases the humidity in the building which has contributed to the roof issues). By making the exterior of the building tight again, the loss of heat would be significantly reduced. This means our operating costs are again decreased. So replacement of the roof, windows and repairs to the brick are necessary. Reducing the overhead expenses allows the pool to become more self sufficient. As the pool is a stand alone swimming pool, it cannot be totally self sufficient. However, the Scotia Pool Society has the office support of the Village of Bible Hill and the financial support of the County of Colchester. To be a good business citizen, it is our belief that being financially efficient is mandatory and responsible. Preserving the Scotia Pool building goes a long way to keeping recreational costs for all lowered. This is a viable building which needs some TLC which the Scotia Pool Society is determined to provide. We just need some help and this funding could make the difference. Our residents depend on this full size, warm water pool for fitness, rehabilitation and recreation. It's loss would be devastating for our community. Our volunteers are so committed because of the people who use this pool. This pool changes lives for the better, it makes pain free living possible, it makes pain medication unnecessary and it provides a social outlet for all. Improving mental health is good for everyone and there are unlimited studies proving that fitness allows for a better outlook and improved mental health. Help us make a difference in all those who depend on Scotia Pool. Help us preserve this valuable resource that improves the lives of so many. Help Scotia Pool be all that it can be.