Pentictonites young and old fascinated with big machines will be treated to one of the biggest in the province this Monday and Tuesday as work continues on the almost completed $23.3 million worth of upgrades and expansion to the Penticton Community Centre and its aquatic facilities.
Weather permitting, PCC construction mangers are expecting the arrival of a 270-tonne crane at the site early next week.
According to the city’s recreation manager Dave Lieskovsky, the apparatus is required to install rooftop units that will accommodate the community centre’s new green heating ventilation and air conditioning system.
“Everything we have done to the facility is an upgrade to what we had before. So basically all of the mechanical systems in the entire building had to be upgraded,” Lieskovsky explained. “Once the rooftop unit has been installed then they can hook up to all the HVAC system and then it will be completed and ready to go.
“We will be running the community centre at a much more energy- efficient and cost-efficient level.”
Lieskovsky said the project continues to be on budget and on time for its March 31 deadline.
“We are running to the finish line and so we have got just under a month left, and all indications are that it is on track,” said Lieskovsky. “As people can probably see from the street, the facility is starting to look a little more refined.”
With a lot of the framing and insulation already complete, Lieskovsky said the construction team has begun working on a lot of the finishing touches of the building.
“Everything is coming together nicely,” he said. “The tiling in the pools is pretty much done and they are currently working on the tiling in the corridors right now. The lighting is close to being installed and then there will be the railings and fixtures to do.
“We will be dealing with inspections from Interior Health this month and then we will be putting water in the pools in the last couple of weeks of March.”
The only work that might be delayed is the paving of the asphalt surrounding the building, said Lieskovsky. However, the federal government has approved an extension of the deadline for that work, so that the city remains eligible to receive the full $15.5 million worth of provincial and federal government infrastructure stimulus grants.
“They will give us until the end of April to pave the perimeter of the outside area of the building,” he said. “That was an extension only due to the fact that we are unsure of when the asphalt plants will open. The plants usually target April 1, but some years they are earlier and some years they are later depending on weather conditions.
“We can’t pave when the weather is like this (snowy) so hopefully it will improve between now and the end of March … It is likely going to be early April by the time we pave it.”
Lieskovsky said one of the most impressive aspects of the PCC’s new design is the amount of natural lighting and visual openness created by the large panes of glass, providing users a full view of the pool and of the building’s surrounding landscape.
“It really gives you a spectacular feeling,” said Lieskovsky. “People will be very impressed with the amount of visibility you have in the building because you are looking through glass into the natatorium (main pool area) and then you are looking out into the mountains surrounding Penticton, especially on the second floor where you can see a lot more.
“This will also be a better accommodation for families viewing the rest of their family members in the pool and it will also help for swim meets as well … It really is a dramatic improvement from what we had before.”