Friday, August 31, 2007

Everybody out of the pool

In what seems like an end of summer tradition now, the city of Prince Rupert has closed the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre for the next four weeks in order to take care of some required maintenance.

The pool has been drained and four separate contractors have begun their work to keep the pool up to date and properly maintained. The Civic Centre will be a busy place over the weekend, in addition to the work on the pool the Civic Centre ice plant is being turned on with a fresh sheet of ice expected to be in place by Monday, September 3, with a free skate planned for Sunday, September 9th.

Full details on the developments at the Civic Centre complex were provided in Thursday’s Daily News.

Aquatic centre is set to remain closed for routine work for several weeks
By Christian Webber
The Daily News
Thursday August 30, 2007
Page one

Aside from the rain; there will not be many chances to get soaking wet in the coming weeks.

Four contractors are working in the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre pool and area and it will be closed and under construction for four weeks.

The pool, which has been a fixture for 25 years, was used for 20 years year-round before staff decided it would benefit from an annual drain and maintenance regime, said Michael Curnes, director of recreation and community services.

Around 200-300 people a day use the pool, so it had to be shut down so work could go on.

Curnes said the pool needs to be drained every year so they can check the plumbing underneath, they also do two weeks of lifeguard rectification, that brings everybody up to date with first aid and lifesaving skills.

“We have a number of major projects under way,” said Curnes.

They are taking out all the ceilings in the change rooms, putting in drop ceilings so they can access the plumbing that is buried, putting in shut-off valves, re-tiling some of the pool deck, changing the drains, changing out some of the ventilation units, replacing 14 of the skylights over the pool, creating a new office space upstairs for the swim club, and then there is the pool draining.

“The pool draining takes a bit, them we do some tile repair on the bottom of the pool,” said Curnes.

He said they also have done a series of dye tests with a firehall employee. There is a crack in the bottom of the pool that was spotted last year, so they are doing dye tests to make sure they are not loosing any water.

He said they are not losing any water but they will double check once the water is out on Tuesday, after the long weekend.

Curnes said they have to check the hydrostat valves at the bottom of the pool, which equalizes the pressure between underneath the pool and on top of the pool.

“Basically, the floor of the pool carries 1 million pounds of water, so when you drain the pool out and the weight is gone, if you don’t have equalized pressure you can have a complete upheaval of earth,” said Curnes.

He said they do drill testing with the staff and lifeguard drills, making sure to take advantage of every single day of the four weeks the pool is closed.

They also turn on the ice plant on this weekend and the ice will be put back into the rink on Mon., Sept. 3 then the following Sunday there will be a two hour free skate to welcome the public back to the ice.

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