Chances are you’ve never heard of xypex, but it’s a crucial part of waterproofing the new swimming pool coming to the Nelson and District Community Complex.
“Xypex is added at the concrete plant while it’s mixed, and when it comes here the concrete gets poured into forms,” Jeff Phillips told the Star, during a recent site visit. “But it’s not until it comes into contact with water that it actually crystallizes and expands to make the concrete waterproof.”
That process was underway last week, so while labourers on a scaffolding installed a new deep-end diving platform the shallow green water below them worked its magic invisibly.
“Things are happening at a molecular level at this point,” Phillips said.
Meanwhile, some of the new construction touches were starting to take shape: there’s a new built-in bulkhead with steps, a wheelchair ramp and the lifeguard room is relocating to the other side of the teach pool. Soon they’ll be installing a Kaboom, which is a detonator-like jet spray toy, and a water cannon.
When you get a chance to go back into the pool — it’s scheduled for a September opening following an 11-month closure — the sauna, steam room and hot tub will all be in the same area in the southeast corner. The former lifeguard room will become a multi-purpose room appropriate for teaching courses and holding birthday parties.
“Seeing water in the pool, although it’s temporary, feels like a major milestone. It’s pretty darn exciting for us,” said recreation manager Marty Benson.
“In the past month we’ve really gone through a transformation, and it’s like we’re starting to put things back together again. People are really excited about getting in here again.”
Phillips said the process has been going remarkably well, especially considering the cash infusion they received from the federal government inadvertently changed their initial plans.
“The federal grant was really nice, but the changes it created — all positive changes — meant we had to go back a few steps, and that was a challenge but we’re back in the routine now,” said Phillips.
Next up the crew will be re-tiling, a grade drop will be addressed and a five meter fan for airflow will be positioned overhead. Kids should be stoked about the new rope swing and the three-metre diving platform is currently under construction by Zap Welding.
“Trainor, Martech, Zap, Nelson Ready Mix and a bunch of other local companies are working on this project,” Phillips said. “Currently 63 per cent of the money spent on this job has gone locally, and that’s only going to increase. By the end it looks like it will be about 80 per cent local.”
Benson said they’re “gearing up to be packed” with users.
“We’re going to have our whole offering of Red Cross lessons. The swim teams are aware of our schedule and can’t wait to get back in here … The biggest thing for us is making sure we have a really welcoming staff and a great culture to come back to. We’re expecting to see a lot of smiles.”