The Vernon Aquatic Centre will be reopening slightly behind schedule.
The facility has been closed since March due to COVID-19. The city had planned to open the facility Tuesday, Oct. 13, but delays in installing a new water filtration system have pushed the reopening to Sunday, Oct. 18.
“We are greatly disappointed that our reopening plans have been delayed,” said Aquatics Manager Gary Lefebvre.
“We know many of our community members have been keen to get back in the pool, and we’ve been excited to welcome everyone back, but unfortunately there has been a series of unforeseen circumstances that have prolonged the installation process.”
Prior to its closure in March, plans were made for a number of maintenance projects to take place during the annual shutdown period in September. Staff reviewed each project to expedite them where possible, based on the availability of materials and contractors.
“The Recreation Services team worked diligently with our contractors to complete the major maintenance works in a timely manner; however, there were challenges with the manufacturing and shipping of specialized pool equipment to complete the upgrades on our water filtration system,” said Doug Ross, Greater Vernon Recreation Services director. “These issues were compounded by two key members of the installation team needing to be replaced for personal reasons, at different points of the project.”
Ross said he and staff are glad the project is nearing completion despite the setbacks.
“We are eager to resume aquatics programming in a facility where the water quality and energy efficiency has been improved.”
Once the filtration system is commissioned, staff will have to become familiarized with the new equipment and be trained on the newly implemented COVID-19 safety protocols for the Recreation and Aquatic Centres.
On top of the new filtration system for the leisure pool, lap pool and hot tub, the leisure pool has been painted, safety upgrades have been made to the lap pool main drain, and the boiler system has been replaced.
“These projects, together, are going to make a significant difference to the water quality of our pools and increase the energy efficiency of our facility,” Lefebvre said.
For more information on recreation facility Safe Reopening Mitigation Plans, please visit www.vernon.ca/safereopening.