Spending up to $4.1 million for necessary upgrades to the Penticton Community Centre pools was approved by city council Tuesday, June 20, just days after it was announced the facility would undergo an extended closure for repairs.
“High and medium-term” infrastructure upgrades worth an estimated total of $600,000 are now set for the pool during its closure, set for Aug. 12 to Oct. 1.
Staff will also complete a full structural review of the facility’s three pools to look into the historical water loss, and to determine whether further repairs are needed. This work will come with a price tag of $50,000.
Council’s approval of up to $4.1 million in funding — money transferred over the emergency asset reserve — allows for other necessary structural work to be done immediately.
But with immediate upgrades expected to cost significantly less than that ($600,000), Counc. Amelia Boultbee questioned city staff’s maximum funding request.
“I’m really in support of whatever needs to happen for the pool to remain open but I’m getting a little bit of sticker shock of authorizing $4.1 million today,” Boultbee said.
City staff said the multi-million-dollar request allows repairs changes to be made quickly following the full structural review.
“Ideally, we don’t spend anywhere near that but until we know the results of the assessment over the next month or two, we’ll have a better sense of what those costs are,” stated Anthony Haddad, the city’s general manager of community services.
Immediate upgrades to the pool include:
• Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades
• Plumbing and piping modifications
• Electrical modifications
“There’s no perfect time to do this work but our hope is by giving plenty of notice and trying to accomplish the needed repairs in one spell there won’t be more interruptions to the pool timetable,” Haddad said.
He adds that no staff this summer will be temporarily laid off over the facility’s closure.
The facility was built in 2010 as one of the largest in Penticton, shortly after the completion of the South Okanagan Events Centre. It came with a price tag of $30 million.
Council unanimously approved the funding for repairs.
“It’s a major asset that’s used heavily by the community,” said Counc. Isaac Gilbert. “We want to ensure the job is done right, so we’re not here 10 years down the line in the same place.”