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Laurentian University shares status on Olympic pool, plans for future

Laurentian University provided an update on its plans for the future at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday.

Sheila Embleton spoke at the Chamber's President Luncheon Series on Tuesday, a way to keep industry leaders and businesses informed on what's going on in the community.

Chamber vice-chair Trevor Lalonde said the university is a significant contributor to the economy in Sudbury.

"Obviously Laurentian is a huge piece of our community and a major piece of our business community," Lalonde said.

"When you think of all the people who get hired from all the graduates in Sudbury, but even the economic driver, Laurentian buys a lot of goods and services from Sudbury businesses."

Embleton said the university will be in the midst of its strategic planning process for the next five years.

"Community voices will come into it," Embleton said.

"There's several things to it, one is tricultural, bilingual, rooted in the north, rooted in the community to see what the community needs moving forward."

Addressing Indigenous issues and aligning with the future of the mining industry is a component of the plan, Embleton said.

"We have to evolve to keep up with what's going on with the industry, so reclamation, regreening, critical minerals, all of these things are evolutions of the mining field so we have to keep up with these things."

Laurentian University provided an update on its plans for the future at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday. (Amanda Hicks/CTV News)

The Jeno Tihani Olympic Gold Pool, which has been closed since 2020, is also included in the plan. Embleton said she is frequently asked about the status of the pool.

"That is the question I get asked the most for sure," she said.

She said she recognizes its importance to the community.

"I'm trying to find out where it leaks, where the hairline cracks may be, some places where there's voids, but figuring out how to fix this, how much it'll cost and so on," she said.

"But we really want to reopen the pool for so many reasons, for Laurentian but also for the community as well."

Additionally, increasing enrollment will be of importance.

"We have to retain as much as possible, but attracting students from the south is another way … to increase enrollment," Embleton said.

"I think there's something unique here that proximity to mining and nature in a way there's not elsewhere." 

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