On Tuesday afternoon, the lifeguards at the Dan Sharrers Aquatic Centre were working hard on duty. But they weren’t overseeing children splashing in the water. They were up to their elbows in grime and sweat, cleaning the scale off the shower tiles.
The pool has been closed since August 15 for its annual scrub down, a huge job that includes maintenance in every corner of the facility.
Milly Marshall, FVRD manager of Hope and District Recreation and Cultural Services, said the pool’s “corrosive environment” makes the thorough cleaning necessary.
Over the past two weeks, there have been corrosion tests and repairs, and new paint for the hot tub and leisure pool. In the shower areas, every piece of hardware was removed for proper cleaning and repair.
The pool will be gleaming and ready for the public again on Friday, September 9.
To help lessen the inconvenience of having the pool closed, the maintenance coincides with the start-up of skating season, Marshall said.
“The ice has gone in, so the public skating is open,” she said. “We even have some hockey camps running right now.”
The gym has also remained open through the maintenance.
To celebrate the re-opening, the Kamloops Sunrays Sychro Club will perform. Marshall said there will be limited seating available, at the cost of $2. That performance is from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 10.
There’s been a lot more going on at the recreation centre than annual maintenance though.
After about 10 years of effort, a new multipurpose room is finally taking shape, just off the arena.
“It’s still under construction, and is quite a hub of activity,” Marshall said Monday. “All our staff is working endlessly to have it finished.”
The multi-purpose room will be a huge asset for the community, she said, and not just for hockey teams. The space will be available for banquets, conventions, weddings and other rental purposes. In addition to the multi-purpose room, the new addition houses three new change rooms. Construction plans also included renovating two of the older change rooms into one, so the arena now has four large change rooms.
“Part of the complaints was that they were just too small,” Marshall said.
The addition had a price tag of $1.6 million, some of which came in the form of grant money. Marshall said the project has already been paid for, as the money was raised and set aside, through a requisition process.
“This has been a very long time coming,” she said.
There will be a ceremony on Saturday, September 10 at 1 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the project, and the public is welcome to attend.