Swimmers finally know when they’ll be able to dive into Nelson’s renovated pool.
The aquatics centre at the Nelson and District Community Complex will be open to the public on Oct. 17. The date was announced by Jeff Phillips, a project manager with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), at a recreation commission meeting Tuesday.
Joe Chirico, the RDCK’s general manager of community services, said he was relieved to finally have a date.
“I think [NDCC manager Marty Benson and I] hoped that it would be earlier, but this is a reality of wanting to do the project right,” said Chirico. “So on October 17, the important thing is that all the team is committed to that date of it being open.”
The pool was closed Sept. 19, 2015 and the $5.2 million project was originally expected to be finished this month. A federal grant of $4.6 million in February changed the scope of the project and contributed in part to the delay while new plans were drawn up.
A major hiccup in construction occurred in June when water damage beneath the cardio room’s concrete floor was discovered. Those repairs ended up altering the pool’s completion timeline, and will result in an extra expense of $175,000 that will be paid for out of a contigency fund plus a contribution from reserve funds.
Phillips said he hopes the cardio room will reopen in mid-September.
Currently the room’s machines are located on the NDCC’s rink concourse, where they may still be when the Nelson Leafs have their home-opener Sept. 16.
Two motions related to the pool were also approved at the Tuesday meeting, which still need to be approved by the RDCK board.
• Sunday morning swimming will return to the aquatics centre. Previously, the pool had only been open 1 to 8 p.m. on Sundays following service cuts in 2007. Now the pool will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. No other changes were made to operating hours.
“We’re excited to say that we’ll have some greater access to the pool and to meet the needs of the community who have asked for those Sunday morning hours,” said Benson. “We’re excited to get the pool open to those people.”
• NDCC user groups who rent the pool, arena and multi-purpose room won’t see a rental fee increase between Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2017. Fees have been set using the British Columbia Consumer Price Index since 2010, with last year’s increase an average of 1.1 per cent.
“Just with all the challenges that we’ve all been facing, and the challenges that [user groups] are still facing and will be dealing with over the next while, we felt that it was the appropriate way to go at this point,” said Benson.