From the mechanical system to the pool liner and water slide, Brandon’s Community Sportsplex is in need of more than $1 million in upgrades.
Perry Roque, the city’s community services director, said they were holding off on the work until a decision was made on the 2017 Canada Summer Games bid.
“Now that we know that we’re not getting the Games, we will go ahead with mechanical upgrades,” Roque said. “I didn’t want to spend money to upgrade a mechanical system for a six-lane pool when I needed a mechanical system for an eight-lane. Too often you see that happen and that’s an error.”
It was announced Thursday that the Canada Games Council rejected Brandon’s bid. The main reason was the lack of an indoor eight-lane, 50-metre pool.
Roque said the aging facility is in need of a “refresh.”
“We did that back in 1996, it’s time to do it again,” he said. “We were hoping all of that would happen with the Canada Games. It didn’t happen, so we will move forward to do those … upgrades to the facility.”
The pool’s mechanical system is about 34 years old and was designed to have three turnovers per day.
“Every eight hours that water gets filtered in that building,” Roque said. “We want to have more like every six hours that the water is going to be turning over or better … We have to circulate that water faster through our filtration system, have more filters to be able to filter through. That’s going to provide us with a higher quality of water.”
Roque said the cost for upgrades will be approximately $1.3 million. The province has already committed $500,000.
“That (provincial) money was given to us back in early 2012 and we’ve been waiting to make sure we spend the money properly,” Roque said.
The city is expected to cover the rest of the cost.
“These capital upgrades have been on our books for a while, so the city has been putting money aside in our reserve at the Sportsplex to do these upgrades,” Roque said. “So the money, between what the province is giving us and what we have in reserve, we should be close to having the money there.”
Roque said they hope to start the necessary work this year, with a completion goal of fall 2014.
“The mechanical upgrades are most important because we work closely with the Department of Health to ensure high quality health standards are met,” he said. “We’ll always put health as a priority, so that would be the first one that we would do and then we would look to other cosmetics.”
Roque said the facility will continue to be viable for many years to come.
“It is our true recreational community facility, it’s phenomenal the number of people that use that facility,” he said.
The main user groups are the Red Cross swim program, the Lifesaving Society of Manitoba, the Bluefins swim club, Brandon School Division, seniors and people from the surrounding communities.
Roque said they will try to co-ordinate construction so there is the least amount of disruption as possible to its users.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 12, 2013