After a six-month closure, Nelson and District Community Complex will reopen its aquatic centre on August 6, just in time for scheduled swimming lessons.
People used to the Nelson Aquatic Centre full of water, a dark ceiling above, would see a different scene today.
A suspended ceiling made up of tiles across t-bar supports is gone. It was part of that system that fell into the pool on January 28 during an aqua fit class. No one was injured but still dangerous faulty t-bar supports prompted a fix at a time when the Regional District was assessing the aging facility.
Joe Chirico, the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s general manager of community services, is pleased with the way the ceiling looks after undergoing repairs.
“It’s all coming together nicely,” he said. “What you will see is actually the open trusses which are all painted bright white and you will be able to see right to the roof. We’re hoping that this opens up the space and make it more aesthetically pleasing, I think make it seem bigger and less boxy. We’re anticipating it will be much brighter than it was before.”
There is still plenty to do before the reopen date, however. “The pool is still full of scaffolding,” said Chirico.
Contractors are currently applying acoustic treatments to buffer sound, a task once handled by the drop ceiling tiles. The treatment is a spray that will barely be visible from the deck level of the pool.
After the acoustic treatment is finished, new lighting will be installed followed by removal of the scaffolding that’s become a fixture during this period of construction. The massive structure should start coming down around July 20, done around July 25, said Chirico.
Cleaning and filling of the two main pool tanks will come next. The leisure pool and hot tub will be filled first as final ceiling work is completed.
Chirico has a “high degree of confidence” the facility will open for scheduled lessons.
“Like everyone in the community we are highly anticipating getting the pool back up and running again and looking forward to getting our kids in there,” he said.
An opening celebrating will be held sometime after August 6.