South-end pool planned

  • Feb. 9, 2009 11:00 a.m.

A swimming pool is being planned for the south end and the committee behind it has one month to raise matching funds for a feasibility study, says spokesperson Trevor Valentinsen. Mr. Valentinsen says the momentum behind the pool is starting to roll and he wants to make the public more aware of the group’s efforts and enlist people’s support. The group wants to start by hiring a consultant to prepare a feasibility study, at a cost of $30,000. The group is trying to raise $15,000 in matching funds in order to apply to Gwaii Trust for the other half. Part of this study will look at determining the best site for the pool, but Mr. Valentinsen said many in his group already feel that Skidegate is the best. He says the school district has offered to attach a pool to Skaa’dgaa Naay Elementary school which would mean the elementary students would have free access during the school year. He is seeking and received support from teachers, students, health care staff, Skidegate Band Councillors, Queen Charlotte Councillors and more. The group of interested community members has grown exponentially since their first meeting. Mr. Valentinsen says seven people showed up to the first meeting, then 20 at the next one and now 50 people are involved. Letters asking for monetary support have been sent to local businesses, fishing lodges, BC Lottery Corporation and more. Until the group can create its own charitable society, donations can be made via cash or cheques and should be made out to “School District 50” with a statement on the cheque that it’s for a swimming pool. Donations are tax deductable. “The amount is not as important as the gesture,” he says. All donations will be acknowledged, be it $5 from the pocket of a little boy, or $1,000 from a local businessperson. “Every penny raised will get us toward the feasibility study,” he says. Mr. Valentinsen says he realizes people have looked into swimming pools before, but this time it will be different. “I know this is going to work. It’s just a matter of convincing the naysayers,” he said.