The Vernon Aquatic Centre remains closed until October. (City of Vernon - photo)

The Vernon Aquatic Centre remains closed until October. (City of Vernon - photo)

North Okanagan pool remains closed until October

Upgrades and maintenance taking place while rec centre is shut down due to COVID-19

A number of major maintenance projects are underway at the Vernon aquatic centre while it is closed to the public.

The Vernon Recreation Centre, which includes the aquatic centre, closed on March 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, staff have been working diligently to deep clean, maintain and upgrade equipment in various areas of the facility. Some of the work includes painting walls, power washing walls, floors and change rooms, and replacing items such as the dishwasher in the commercial kitchen.

“The closure of our recreation facilities was unexpected but necessary for the safety of our community,” said Gary Lefebvre, aquatics manager. “We have used this time to prepare our spaces so they are clean, safe, and ready to welcome our community members back when the time is right.”

The Recreation Centre (including the auditorium, pools, weight room and Dogwood Gym) is currently scheduled to reopen in October 2020.

“Prior to the pandemic taking place, we had planned to complete a number of major maintenance projects during our annual shutdown period in September,” said Lefebvre. “Over the last few months, we’ve looked carefully at these projects, their timelines, and the availability of the materials and contractors needed to complete the work. We have expedited projects where possible, but some of the materials and contractors are not available until our regularly scheduled fall shutdown period.”

To avoid opening the facility for a few weeks and then closing again, the Recreation Centre will remain closed until the major maintenance work is complete.

The maintenance projects taking place include:

  • The painting of the leisure pool
  • The replacement of the filtration systems for the leisure pool, lap pool and hot tub
  • Redesign and safety upgrades to the lap pool main drain
  • The re-engineering and replacement of the boiler system

“These projects are going to make a significant difference to the water quality of our pools and increase the energy efficiency of our facility,” said Lefebvre. “Currently, we use high-rate sand filters. At the start of August, we are upgrading our system to regenerative media filters, which remove up to 99 per cent of most bacteria from the water.”

While the indoor pool will be closed for several more weeks, the Lavington and Lakeview outdoor pools are open and accessible to the public. New and updated safety protocols have been put in place in accordance with provincial health guidelines.

Greater Vernon Recreation Services continues to work closely with the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) and is following the guidance of viaSport and the provincial government in relation to reopening facilities in a safe and feasible manner under BC’s Restart Plan. For updates on facilities, and to learn more about safe reopening mitigation plans, visit www.vernon.ca/safereopening.

READ MORE: Vernon mayor urges diligence ahead of long weekend

READ MORE: Keep your distance on Vernon beaches


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