The Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre at the University of Lethbridge will get some much-needed improvements thanks to the federal government’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, the Canada 150 Fund and the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
Darshan Kang, member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, announced the funding Wednesday at City Hall in Lethbridge on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada; and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Overall, 10 community projects in southern Alberta will receive more than $4.8 million through these programs, which are part of Canada 150 Celebrates. The funds are designed to help communities modernize local recreation facilities and improve social and cultural infrastructure and programs.
The grant is worth $180,000, matched by an equal amount the U of L will provide through its Strategic Priorities Fund for a total of $360,000.
“The Max Bell pool and the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport & Wellness serve both the U of L and the southern Alberta community,” says Nancy Walker, vice-president (finance and administration). “These facilities were built in partnership with the City of Lethbridge to meet the demand for recreation programming in our community. These upgrades will ensure elite competitions continue to be hosted here, as well as meet the needs of students, staff and casual community users.”
After more than 30 years of use, the Max Bell pool needs some upgrades. The Canada 150 grant will be used to provide additional lighting on the surface of the pool. The lighting, which will be direct LED lighting, will improve swimmer safety and spectator visibility. Through the installation of energy efficient lighting, the project will help to advance a clean growth economy by reducing energy consumption. The grant also enables the U of L to refurbish the concrete dive tower and repair the steam room in the women’s locker room. In addition, locker rooms in the adjacent Centre for Sport & Wellness will be reconfigured and the life safety systems, including the fire speaker system, will be upgraded.