The Future of Adie Knox

 Hi Friends,

As you may have heard or read, the City and the University of Windsor announced a partnership that would see the sharing of the newly constructed University pool and a complete overhaul of Adie Knox into a robust community centre. I want to share with you all that I know so far about the plan, and more importantly, I want to hear from you about it. The high level details of this $42million investment that is subject to community consultation and Council approval, includes two main components. They Are as follows:

1)     City – University Partnership

-        93% of pool programming at Adie Knox will be available at the same time at the UofW pool for City residents and the community

-        City residents will have free onsite parking

-        User fees will be the exact same as is currently being paid at Adie Knox

-        Pool temperature will be more or less the same (approximately 1 to 2 degrees less at the UofW Pool)

-        The UofW pool will be more handicap accessible based on AODA requirements given it is a new build and must adhere to new standards and legislation

-        The term is 10 years with a right to renew for an additional 10 years and will cost the City a one-time $3million capital expenditure and an operating expense of $200,000 per year. This will save the City approximately $500,000 in operating expenses per year which will largely be diverted to the new community centre at Adie Knox

2)     Adie Knox Revitalization into a Robust Community Centre

-        Adie Knox will be part of a $42million investment that will include, among other things:

·       A new indoor gym and fitness centre

·       Four program rooms for community programming in arts, culture, technology, and sports including a dance studio

·       A kitchen and rec room for indoor classes

·       The ice pad to be maintained and remain servicing Windsor Minor Hockey and other groups

·       Outdoor tennis courts and pickleball courts

·       Outdoor basketball court

·       Outdoor splash pad

·       Outdoor walking track

·       New and additional parking

·       …and much more…

The full details of the plan will be published and released to the public this upcoming Friday. In the meantime, the City has published on its website information on the project here: https://www.citywindsor.ca/Newsroom/Pages/City-and-University-Announce-Plans-to-Upgrade-West-End-Recreation-Infrastructure.aspx

Community consultation and ensuring your voice is heard is very important to me. There are a variety of ways to be heard on this plan including filling out the survey in the link above, or alternatively contacting me directly at fcostante@citywindsor.ca. You can also delegate on the matter when this comes to Council on June 21st.

When the City presented the consultant’s master plan in 2019, we fought against the closure of the pool. At the time, there was no agreement or plan of an agreement with the UofW, and the robust community centre before you now was not at all what was presented to Council in 2019. It is a markedly different plan that must be considered on its merits, taking into account the totality of the plan and how it will serve all residents in the west-end and across the City.

Since being elected on Council, I have fought for more community amenities in the west-end, including a community centre. In fact, this priority was a pillar in my campaign for Council, and is an amenity that is desperately needed in our neighbourhood since we lost the College Avenue Community Centre in 2011 and other amenities over the years.  

I am keeping an open mind and will be listening intently over the coming weeks. I am hopeful that residents keep an open mind and learn about the project in its entirety. Your ideas and concerns matter to me and I will take each and every one of them seriously. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of public consultation in these coming weeks as we work collaboratively to champion expanding access and positive investment in the west-end that is overdue, deserved, and meets the needs of our growing and diverse community.

Comments

  1. By what measure did the City calculate this number--93% of programs will remain? Hard to believe, as the Adie Knox pool is so well-attended. Where will there be room for all the student programs the university must offer to keep its customers satisfied? Based on the new university pool design (official illustration - including senior citizens! - in the June 8, 2021 Windsor Star) lap swims simultaneous with water exercise classes will be precluded. Seems pert near impossible that 93% of programs will continue if the pool is REmoved from Adie Knox. The community pool is not being "moved." Under this plan, the University will be "sharing" its pool with the community. Everything about this announcement - on June 8 - and the rushed so-called "consultation" - a survey open only until June 15 and that doesn't even mention keeping a pool at Adie Knox - suggests that this will once again be a costly mistake that local tax payers will be shouldering possibly forever. Why is the City so eager to spend $42 million without a real, proper community consultation, yet fretting over the additional $200K to keep the Adie Knox pool open (I know it's $400K annually to maintain the Adie Knox pool but under the new agreement the University will get $200K annually PLUS the day use fees - so in reality it's even less than an additional $200K annually to keep the Adie Knox pool open). Since the mayor announced via CBC Windsor that he was going forward with the renovation of Adie Knox whether or not federal funding was approved, why not take the time to find out what people really want? A community is made up of people, but this one seems to be run like a dictatorship. Surely the federal government makes money available more than once every blue moon - and typically well in advance of two weeks before an application is due? Let's make sure our hard earned tax dollars are used responsibly and to the benefit of the community they are earmarked to serve. Residents shouldn't have to protest bad decisions in order to have their voices heard. This city has suffered too many rushed and wildly expensive decisions in the last 20 years. How many more can Windsor residents afford?

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    1. I am in complete agreement. This "plan" has been sprung on us in June, with a week to fill out a poorly written survey that most people aren't even aware is available. I am not aware of any serious efforts by the city to have real consulation on closing the pool and arena at Adie Knox. I believe this to be an effort at cost-cutting, because it is expensive to operate an arena and a pool year round. Meeting spaces can be rented out. Once again, the city is putting income and appearances over what people in the community have said they want.

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  2. I'm very upset by the way this "solution" is being thrust upon the West End at such short notice. The survey's ranking exercise doesn't even mention a pool as one of its options. It's also completely absurd to provide residents with just a week to give their input into a $42M decision. Why can plans not be made with and by the people, rather than having them developed in secret and imposed from above as a done deal?

    Council's approval of the Celestial Beacon project went in a similar way. The decision was rushed through - in spite of major resident objections - in order to be eligible for federal funding. When that funding wasn't approved, the public were never told what the problems were, but taxpayers are still on the hook for the full $7 million. If it wasn't good enough for the feds, why should it be good enough for Windsor taxpayers?

    Sadly, Windsor's Administration has a history of making big spending decisions. Residents' objections are brushed aside, but when their concerns turn out to be valid (like the $3.5M annual losses at Adventure Bay that weren't surprising to those who pointed out that the city has no experience running water parks), where is the accountability?

    I'd like to see the lessons learned from Adventure Bay (and the WFCU Centre) being addressed first, before launching into another big ticket project. Rushing into Adie Knox's redevelopment without full analysis and thorough public consultation is bound to end in more costly mistakes.

    Anything less is just political theatre, at Ward 2's expense.

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  3. This is not a good decision! The U of Windsor pool is a very busy facility, and there will not be room for thousands of more A.D. Knox swimmers! As well, the Univ. parking lot is too far from the fitness centre, and will be challenging for many A.D. Knox senior patrons with mobility issues. And, finally, please re-consider how much the kids in the neighbourhood love the A.D. Knox pool, and how much they will miss it! Any re-build/ renovation/reconfiguration of the Knox community hub must include a pool for it to retain its value and a attract new residents.

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  4. Commenting as a retired nurse, a senior female, a friend of Adie Knox, and a lifelong lap swimmer: UofW and St.Clair College pools were always the places I avoided( when I was much younger) as one was guaranteed to run into young athletic impatient swimmers and crowds. My plans to avoid those locations stay in place. Nothing worse than being kicked by a passing swimmer, or hit in the head.

    Pre-Pandemic: lap times at Adie Knox were limited, and for the same reason it was wise to avoid weekend mornings( that's all there was on the weekends for laps) weekday mornings could often be aggravating as well. WIATC, make sure you check to see whether or not there is a swim meet, and there were a few times, lanes were shared with multiple swimmers. This really doesn't work well for the slower older swimmer., not that all seniors are slow swimmers.

    It is clear that the plan to improve the Adie Knox location is advantageous for many people.
    It is also clear that there wasn't a collaborative effort during the planning process to meet the needs of the handicapped, disabled and seniors who use Adie Knox.

    The benefits of aqua fit, swimming, and the therapy pool are many, especially for those who have limited mobility, pain issues, and activity intolerance outside of the water.
    Adie Knox is so very necessary to maintain quality of life and independence.
    People dependent on the therapy pool have been without it since Mar.2020, so the need has increased exponentially.

    It doesn't matter if the programs and the membership fees remain the same for the Lancer Center, if the distance to walk is further and there is no therapy pool.
    WFCU 's therapy pool is in no way adequate for the entire city's needs.

    Bottom line: services are being cut to a very needy population of seniors, handicapped and disabled.

    Many red flags here! Slow this down and find a better way!

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  5. Do not close the pool or the ice rink at Adie Knox. The value of these amenities to the community is priceless. They got it right when it was built there, and it has been proved over the years. Why change a right decision just for the sake of change? I will not vote for a councilor, or mayor, who votes to close these amenities, and I will tell everyone I see the same thing.

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    Replies
    1. There's no doubt that the new Lancer Centre will be big, beautiful and bright. It will offer many opportunities to some. I do, however, have concerns that the plan includes closing the Adie Knox pool and therapy pool. Adie Knox offered those with challenges (both physical and emotional) just the right space to exercise: including size of area, distance from their car to the pool and lighting - not to mention, a safe, supportive, family-like environment.
      There are so many issues around closing the Adie Knox pools; and there are just as many political issues. While we were all hunkered down during the pandemic, the City and University were moving forward; and the presentation of this caught us off guard. The closing of Adie Knox pool was presented in the media as a 'fait accompli'. As a result, people are angry.
      Hopefully, on Monday, Council members will see through the slant of the City's presentation and understand that if one wants a certain outcome, one can manipulate the information and statistics to guide the audience toward a specific conclusion. One small example of this is how it has been presented that the Lancer Complex is ONLY 1.5 kms away from Adie Knox. Yet, according to MapQuest, by driving or walking they are actually 3 kms apart.

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    2. My bad. I mapped from the wrong address from Adie Know to Lancer. I erroneously put in 151 Wyandotte instead of 1551 Wyandotte. So please disregard my comment that it's actually 3 kms. It's very close to 1.5 kms. Very sorry.

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  6. Why is this decision to close the Adie Knox pool being made to the exclusion of doing a study on the usage of the other Parks & Recs indoor pools in Windsor? Gino Marcus has a tiny pool by comparison to Adie Knox and offers very limited programs. Also it is not very accessible via public transit. The controversial and (money gushing) WIAC and Adventure Bay were built at a cost of $70 million to taxpayers, with $3.5 million a year in operating costs. What is the community usage like there? What are the water exercise classes offered? - that's a trick question. Used to have some, not anymore (pre- Covid). And, I've been turned away from lap swims at WIAC many times because it was being used for "team" practices. Who was the WIAC built to serve? And why does Windsor own a water park? These were trumpeted as facilities that would revive downtown Windsor and attract people to live here. Has that happened? And the WFCU centre - the pool was an after thought - and the change rooms are the smallest (and worst )in the community. Totally inadequate. But more significantly, the WFCU pool is mostly used by folks who don't even live in Windsor - hear that Windsor tax payers? You are paying for a lovely recreation centre for people in Tecumseh and Lakeshore! I have a hard time finding a single Windsor resident every time I've been there - and pre-Covid, I used that facility on alternate days with Adie Knox. Adie Knox is the ONLY indoor pool in the city that is big enough to offer the community what the community desires. $42 million may sound like a lot of new good stuff for the west end, but if it's the wrong stuff (see Adventure Bay and WIAC) how will that improve the community? This is (again) a very bad use of tax dollars for the West End and for the whole city. Fix the entire Windsor Parks & Rec indoor pool system - don't just make a deal with the university (and one that doesn't serve the community's needs).

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  7. It would be a shame to close the Adie Knox pool/facilities. This is a community pool that serves the local community and removing it would be a great loss to the area. Community centres with their facilities belong in local communities, they strengthen them and provide services and a place for youth, seniors and the disadvantaged to gather, meet and enjoy what is offered such as the pool. Replacing this with access to the university pool would in no way be an adequate substitute as you’ve now removed the ‘community’ from swimming. My husband and I completed our scuba lessons in that pool pre pandemic and it is in a great location and certainly deserves to remain right where it is. You can only build great communities by providing services locally and thus strengthening and building them, not by farming out services.

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