Accessible Ramp Coming to Welland’s Maple Park Pool in 2023

Memorial Park Pool will be accessible when rebuilt
By Dave Johnson, Tribune Reporter
Mon., Nov. 7, 2022

An accessible ramp is coming to Welland’s Maple Park Pool next year, removing barriers for those with disabilities and opening up the pool to more users, says Rob Axiak, the city’s director of community services.

At last Tuesday’s council meeting, Axiak said the city was applying for a grant through the federal government’s enabling accessibility fund to cover the costs.

“Our interest is to apply for the maximum allotment of funds of $100,000 to cover this project. Should we not be successful, funds have been budgeted to allow us to continue with this important project for the enhancement of the facility,” said Axiak.

Ward 2 Coun. David McLeod said there was interest in having the ramp completed.

“Is the ramp that’s being proposed a new standard? Does Rosie Smith (Memorial Pool at St. George Park) have a similar ramping system?” McLeod asked, adding he hoped the city was successful in the grant request.

Axiak said all new pool construction should have ramps put into them to meet AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) standards.

“There are other mechanisms to get into pools as well from an accessibility standpoint. There are chairlifts as an example. The standard I’d like to start to have here in Welland is to have an actual ramp that is in (pools). They reach a larger audience than a chairlift. There are a lot of benefits to them,” he said.

A staff report in 2019 identified a need for a ramp at the pool, 512 South Pelham Rd., and funds set aside in 2020 and 2021.

Ward 5 Coun. Graham Speck asked if plans for a new Memorial Park Pool, off Memorial Drive in the city’s east end, contained a similar ramp.

Axiak said the design for the new pool at Memorial Park has a ramp that goes into the water.

Ward 4 Coun. Bryan Green asked if contractors would have to dig out a spot for the ramp at Maple Park.

“Or does it simply drop into the existing pool dimensions?” Green asked.

Axiak said the ramp will be built into the seven-lane pool.

“We’re digging outside of it. This will allow for seven lanes to be used. The one lane will have a ramp that is partially in it.”

Welland-based Serianni Construction Ltd. will install the ramp at the pool, expected to be complete before the 2023 swimming season.

The company was one of three that bid on the project, coming in at $88,800. Also bidding were Cabcon Contracting Ltd. at $99,715 and Acapulco Pools at $140,600.

Aqua Plans Aquatic Consultants Inc. worked with city staff on the design and preparing the tender.

Dave Johnson is a St. Catharines-based reporter for the Welland Tribune. Follow him on Twitter: @DaveJTheTrib

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