Renovations to the Nelson aquatic centre are now well underway. The majority of demolition work is done, new change room lockers have arrived, tile design and colours have been selected and the first truckload of concrete was poured last week, according to the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
“Half of the rebar and form work for the new pool gutters is complete and the first concrete pour was a success,” said community complex manager Marty Benson.
Concrete specialists Greyback Construction have reshaped angles in the dive tank so the pool meets current aquatic standards for depth and safety to allow the installation of a 2.7 metre dive platform. They have also removed the original pool main drain from the dive tank and will replace it with two new drains that will be safer for divers and swimmers.
In conjunction with forming the gutters, crews will construct forms and install rebar for structural pilasters to support the pool deck and walls. Once all concrete work has been completed crews will start tiling the pool walls and deck surfaces.
Benson said the next month of the project is critical because concrete work has to be completed before some other mechanical system work can begin.
“Our aquatic centre operations staff have been instrumental in providing input to our construction management team at Unitech so that on-the-ground, employee perspectives are included in construction plans and the facility works for everyone,” said Benson.
Unitech is working with local companies Trainor Mechanical Contractors and Martech Electrical Systems who are under and around the pool installing new ducting, mechanical and electrical systems at the same time that Greyback is replacing concrete on top.
“It’s a complex renovation project and we have a number of balls in the air at once. It all has to be timed very carefully,” Benson said.
“It’s exciting to see the pool begin to take shape,” said Valerie Warmington, recently-elected recreation commission chair. “Once the tiling starts, it’s really going to hit me what a beautiful facility we’ll have once all this is done. I know many people in the community are keen to swim their first lap later this year and at least one of our commission members is among them.”
Change room lockers are now being replaced, a project that will take about three weeks per change room. The entire renovation project is forecast to take 11 months, but a precise reopening date hasn’t been announced.
The RDCK is also now offering a regional wellness pass that allows residents to use community complexes in Nelson Castlegar, and Creston as well as the fitness centre in Salmo for a unified price. This includes aquatic centre admission.