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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Saugeen Shores YMCA Plan

Port Elgin | by John Divinski  

The public attended a meeting to hear about the proposed rec facility.

Photo By John Divinski 

A meeting to discuss the potential of a YMCA in Saugeen Shores, operated by the Owen Sound Y in partnership with a proposed municipal recreation/aquatic centre, drew a full house at the Plex.

The town and the Y are simply exploring avenues together, should a proposed facility be built.

A telephone marketing survey about such a facility is just getting underway now by a third party professional firm for Saugeen Shores..

CEO of the Owen Sound Y Gayle Graham says, having a Y in the municipality could create great benefits for everyone, particularly young families, including those that might need financial assistance for memberships.

Graham believes such a fitness facility would not interfere with the existing commercial fitness clubs in the town.

As a matter of fact, Graham says it's been her experience that when the Owen Sound facility opened up, it created an interest in fitness generally and people shopped around for the club that would meet their needs.

She believes the same thing would happen in Saugeen Shores.

Owner/operator of Fitness Corner facilities in Port Elgin and Southampton, Holly Vanderzwet, is not so sure.

Vanderzwet says she's all for a new aquatic centre and perhaps a walking track with it, but the Y should stay out of the fitness business.

She says she's doing the best she can and doesn't need a "kick in the pants" by having the municipality getting into the fitness business through the Y or any other operator.

Many of the other questions on Wednesday night, centred around the services that might be offered in a new facility, many hoping that what is being offered now, would continue.

Graham says the Y wants to show first-hand what they have to offer and a free Saugeen Shores Day at the Y is being planned for Sunday, January 27th from 11:30am to 5pm where residents will be able to experience the health, fitness and aquatic centre in Owen Sound.

Meanwhile, results of the telephone survey on the need for a recreational fitness/acquatic centre in Saugeen Shores is expected to be in the hands of town council in late February or early March, 2019.

The vision is that the YMCA could operate the new recreation facility on behalf of the town and the facility would replace the 43 year old Centennial Pool, and accommodate the recreational needs of the growing population of Saugeen Shores.

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