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Salmon Arm council supports $120,000 upgrade at recreation centre

Current HVAC direct digital control system reliant on 22-year-old operating system
The Shuswap Recreation Society will be proceeding with a $120,000 upgrade of the SASCU Recreation Centre’s HVAC controls. (File photo)

Salmon Arm council approved a $120,000 upgrade to the city recreation centre’s environmental controls, currently operating off 22-year-old software.

Shuswap Recreation Society operations manager David Knight explained the needed upgrade, both in writing and in person at the July 24 council meeting. The SASCU Recreation Centre’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) direct digital controls (DDC) operate through a program hosted on Windows XP (released October 2001). Knight reported Microsoft stopped supporting that computer operating system in 2014, though it continued to receive security updates until 2019.

“Up until recently, there was still access to versions and access to codes to allow us to continue to use virtual Windows XP systems (Sept. 2022), but these are no longer available today,” wrote Knight, commenting to council that the society is now at a crucial point.

Along with managing interior temperature controls, the ventilation component is part of the pool’s chlorine plant.

“In case of failure or leak of these chemicals, the HVAC system is designed to shut off all ventilation throughout the building to prevent the flow of chlorine gas to other areas of the facility,” wrote Knight. “Should the DDC or operating system fail, the facility would be required to close immediately until a repair could be completed.”

It was proposed the $120,000 cost to replace the DDC come from the Community Centre Major Maintenance Reserve, which was sitting at $966,000.

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Coun. Sylvia Lindgren asked if the system could be transferred to the new recreation centre if and when it is constructed. Knight said it is unlikely, adding “the software may be relevant at that time but likely not.”

Asked about the wait time for the equipment, Knight suggested it could take two to three months to get it in and installed.

Commenting on a new recreation centre/pool, Coun. Debbie Cannon said it is quite a ways away, and that a study done by a consultant remarked how the current facility is aging, “and there’s going to be a lot of expenses coming up before we get a new pool, before we’re even down that road.”

“So I think when you look at the over $900,000 in reserve, I think we’re going to have a lot of money in the future to keep that recreation facility open,” said Cannon.

Council voted in support of proceeding with the upgrade.

In an assessment of the SASCU Recreation Centre, included in the 2019 Salmon Arm Recreation Campus Redevelopment Feasibility Study, consultant Morrison Hershfield identifies items in the electrical, mechanical and structural systems that would need to be replaced/fixed within 1 year, 1-3 years, 5 years, or at its client’s discretion. At that time, the total cost of all the prescribed upgrades required to maintain the existing building was estimated to be $4,200,000.
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