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Local dad challenges Squamish pool's pay-and-exit policy

'It does not make any sense,' says father of four about having to get out of the pool and re-enter; District says system allows more people to swim, lowers wait times.District says it is 'seeing positive results from the current pool usage.'
Brennan Park Aquatic Centre.

Squamish father of four Kyle Hartnell is adding his voice to other parents confused and frustrated by the Brennan Park public swim pool schedule, which has recently been discussed on Squamish online forums and among local parents.

He recently took his kids for a swim on a weekday, and the rule was that after a block of an hour and 45 minutes, everyone had to get out of the pool, leave, pay again, and re-enter if they wanted to stay longer.

"And then you can repay and come back in again — I was shocked," he recalled. 

While Hartnell said this exit schedule makes some sense if there is a long line-up of people waiting to get in, on this day, he didn't see one. 

"He said it wasn't practical to get all the kids showered and out, and then line up again, so they left.

He said that when inflation is hitting everyone hard in Squamish, it felt like a slap at local families. 

"We've been going to the pool since the kids were little. Taking them to the pool has been super, super good for them — getting them to learn how to swim. It's super important to us," he said. 

"You are kind of slamming families twice, you know? Not only do our tax dollars go to pay for the pool ... then you want us to pay twice to take our kids swimming?"

Asked about this situation, the District said it was working to ensure the most folks could access the pool.

"Squamish Recreation Services Staff work to find solutions that help residents and visitors plan an enjoyable visit to the pool with reasonable expectation of entry in a timely manner and maximize the efficiencies in our existing facilities," District spokesperson Rachel Boguski said in an emailed statement to The Squamish Chief. 

"We are seeing positive results from the current pool usage, particularly in the reduction of pool wait times. Our online pool schedule lets folks know when the public swim times are, and we continue to recommend people check the schedule before they arrive to ensure they are aware of the specific programming start and end times."

Boguski added that all swimmers are made aware of the time they have to swim before they choose to begin their session.

"A second pool is one of the desired new facilities at Brennan Park Recreation Centre, and the District is pursuing appropriate funding to advance Brennan Park Recreation Centre upgrades forward. A preliminary Brennan Park Recreation Centre Master Plan was presented to Council on June 13, the completion of which is an important step in securing grant funding for future phases of work."


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