—Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News The Pool Room at the Rutland Centennial Hall was demolished Tuesday to make way for a new entrance to the hall facing Roxby Square.

Piece of Rutland history has a date with demolition

The Pool Room, at Rutland Centennial Hall in Kelowna, torn down to make way for new hall entrance

A little piece of Rutland history was demolished Tuesday, as a building adjacent to the Rutland Centennial Hall known as the Pool Room came down.

The building, which predated the hall by 28 years, was built as the grandstand, change rooms and storage facility for the first swimming pool built in Rutland in 1939. At the time, Rutland, now part of the City of Kelowna, was a separate community.

According to Rutland historian Evelyn Vielvoye, who co-wrote a history of community with Elaine Senger, the outdoor pool was built after a number of drownings of young people who used to swim in the irrigation ponds in the area.

After it opened, the pool became a major recreation centre for young people in Rutland, especially in the 1950s and 1960s.

“Most of us learned to swim there,” said Vielvoye.

The 25-metre pool was located where the playground for the daycare that is now located in the hall sits.

After the pool shut down in 1981, the adjacent building, became a storage space for the Rutland Centennial Hall and was dubbed the Pool Room.

The building was demolished as part of the ongoing renovations to the Rutland Centennial hall, work that will see the hall upgraded, expanded and feature a new entrance facing onto Roxby Square.

Vielvoye said despite her personal history with Pool Room, she is not sad to see it go.

“The hall will get some more rooms, which it needs, and a lovely new entrance, so that will be good,” she said.

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