City attempts to find funding to refurbish recreation centre

The city will be applying for grant money to help offset the cost of a general overhaul needed at the SASCU Recreation Centre.

The city will be applying for grant money to help offset the cost of a general overhaul needed at the SASCU Recreation Centre.

Earlier this month, council authorized the submission of a grant application for $250,000 from the federal government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. According to a memo from city engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen, the funds would cover 50 per cent of the estimated cost for the following upgrades, replacements and repairs:

Boilers: $179,000 – The pool currently uses two boilers that are inefficient and beyond their life expectancy.

Heat exchangers: $32,000 – Transfer heat from boilers to pool, originals installed with pool, currently inefficient, leaking and at risk of failure;

Wading pool filters: $13,000 – Current filters 17 years old and undersized;

Main pool filters: $35,000 – original system, many components in need of replacement;

UV disinfectant system: $75,000 – facility currently uses chlorine gas as primary disinfectant. UV considered safer primary method;

Pool deck drainage system: $40,000 – current system beginning to fail – water seeping below deck surface, into concrete substrate;

Alarm system: $18,000 – current system obsolete, replacement parts unavailable;

Doors and windows: $35,00 – front doors obsolete, several interior doors rusting, meeting room windows can’t be opened;

Lockers: $54,000 – Lockers more than 26 years old, need replacement.

In total, the work is expected to cost $500,000. The remaining portion would come from the city’s Community Centre Major Maintenance Reserve of  $75,000 and the Climate Action reserve  of $175,000.

“Some big ticket items, like the boilers, there’s so much new technology that we can definitely get savings in operating costs as well as upgrade our equipment,” Dale Berger, the facility’s manager, explained. “You’re taking a 1986 boiler and replacing it with a new one that’s probably a 10th of the size and 20 per cent more efficient.”

Asked how pressing some of the needed items are, Berger noted last year the main pump started making noise. Because the part couldn’t simply be taken out of commission for repair, a new one was ordered. It took eight weeks to arrive.

“If that pump had failed, that’s how long you’d be looking at shutting the pool down…,” said Berger. “We could possibly have a boiler failure which might affect us in our really cold parts of the winter. There’s an alarm system we have no access to parts to. If  that were to fail, we’d have to have 24-hour coverage for fire and safety… it’s so much about updating equipment to today’s standards.”

Berger adds use of the centre is at capacity.

“It’s being used so much now compared with even six or seven years ago,” he says.

If the application  is successful, the work would have be completed by March 31, 2014.


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