As expected, Kamloops council on Tuesday approved a staff recommendation that will see the Canada Games Aquatic Centre in the Tournament Capital Centre close for the latter half of this year while a maintenance project is completed.
The City of Kamloops will undertake a $13.5-million maintenance project in the building, with the pool facility set to close following the Swim BC Provincials, which will wrap up on June 28.
The aquatic centre, which was built, in the early 1990s, is scheduled to re-open on Jan. 2, 2021, in time for another major swim meet.
In the months between, he city will extend hours at the outdoor pool at the Brock Recreation Centre at the Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre, with those facilities seeing changes in swim lesson and public swimming times.
In addition, the city will reimburse all affected members.
While the aquatic centre at the Tournament Capital Centre will close for six months, the rest of the TCC, including the gyms and fieldhouse with indoor track, will remain open.
The aquatic centre project was originally estimated to cost $10 million, but staff is recommending council approve the revised $13.5-million budget to encompass additional work now that would need to be undertaken in the next few years.
In his report to council, capital projects manager Darren Crundwell said that while the facility has been well maintained, many building components are nearing the end of their life.
The original plan was to extend the life of the pool envelope and critical operating components, but when staff reviewed the entire Canada Games Aquatic Centre facility, they identified several revitalization and modernization elements that will need to be undertaken over the next few years.
The project will see replacement of the roof and walls, the mechanical system, the electrical system, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, system, the lighting (with LED fixtures) and the boilers (with energy-efficient options).
In addition, the city will replace the hot tub, sauna and steam room with more energy-efficient options, repaint the natatorium (building housing a pool), offices and other spaces, construct a new east entrance to create accessibility and improve security, replace and modernize the change rooms and common areas to improve inclusivity and accessibility and install a public address system, which is required for public safety communications.
Included in the renovation will be a complete overhaul of the wet and dry change rooms and the creation of more individual change rooms to improve accessibility and security.
“Personal safety and security of property are priorities at the TCC,” said Sean Smith, the city’s business operations and events supervisor.
“The change room renovations will address the public concerns we’ve heard and will create an environment that is inclusive and accessible for all users.”
The report to council stated the work will ensure the facility — which has about 800,000 visitors annually, user demand that is 300 per cent more than original projections — is operational for another 30 years.
“If the city were to begin from scratch and build this facility again today, it would cost approximately $150 million,” the report states.
The project is to be done via an integrated project delivery model, which brings all project partners together early in the design stages to develop the project plan collaboratively.
The project will be the first in B.C. to use the model, which is intended to reduce waste and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication and construction.
The project team has applied to the CleanBC Communities Fund for a grant of $2.5 million to be used against the cost of the $13.5-million endeavour.
Meanwhile, the next planned project for the Tournament Capital Centre is replacement of Hillside Stadium’s turf.
The stadium will be closed in June and re-open in July as crews replace the turf playing field.