Aquatic centre impresses ICG
June 21st, 2012:
They have great expertise here
Even though the city's new pool is still under construction, officials from the International Children's Games say they are confident all the pieces will fall into place in time for next summer's International Children's Games in Windsor.
"We are very excited to have the games here," said Torsten Rasch, the president of the ICG, standing at the construction site of the aquatic centre in downtown Windsor on Thursday.
Rasch was in town to visit the pool site as well as the soccer pitches, tennis courts and gyms that will be used for the games, as well as to meet with city officials in charge of hospitality arrangements for the approximately 2,000 children between ages 12 and 15 who are expected to attend the games in July 2013.
"They have great expertise here - the people working for the games," Rasch said. "We are in very good hands."
At first, the ICG committee was wary of choosing Windsor as a site because it did not have adequate pool facilities, he said, but he commended the city and Mayor Eddie Francis for approving the construction of the aquatic centre.
Francis, Essex Warden Tom Bain and Rasch will sign the official host city agreement tonight at the WFCU Centre.
The ICG mascot will also be officially named.
"Swimming is the most important sport ... next to track and field," Rasch said, speaking of the sporting events the games will host. "This is a milestone also for your city to have this aquatic centre for the future."
As a legacy project, the aquatic centre is ideal because it will encourage more local youths to take up swimming, he said.
Construction on the aquatic centre, which is estimated to cost a total of $77 million, began in May.
The facility will be built in stages. The pool will be completed first, in time for the games. The facility will then close again so that the water park section can be finished.
Don Sadler, the project manager, said he expects the pool to be finished by next June and the water park section to be complete by December 2013.
Sadler said construction is on track despite a small setback from a strike of heavy equipment operators earlier this month.
More than 40 workers are on the site, where the basement is currently being filled in.
Sadler said the pool, which is being manufactured in Italy, will be shipped in components in September and the crew expects to have it installed by mid-autumn.
The goal is to have the external shell of the building finished by the start of the winter so crews can work on the inside during the cold weather, Sadler said.
"We're getting a lot of things done," he said.
Rasch toured Windsor once before, in 2010.
The ICG committee voted unanimously to award the 2013 games to Windsor shortly afterward. The games are held each year - typically in summer but also occasionally in the winter - and are recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
The 2012 games will be held in Daegu, South Korea.
Hamilton and Kelowna are the only other Canadian cities to have hosted the games.
The Windsor Star
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