July goal for starting construction; tentative opening date is July, 2022
The construction of Maple Creek’s new swimming pool will start in July, if everything goes according to plan.
The goal is to complete the bulk of the project in four to five months and apply finishing touches in May and June 2022. The grand opening would then take place in July 2022.
These tentative dates were disclosed by Councillor Al Fournier, chairperson of the Parks, Recreation & Culture Committee. They depend on such variables as COVID-19 and the weather.
“Personally, I’m hoping we can start work on building a new pool between July 1 and 15,” Councillor Fournier said. “I would be ecstatic if that happened.”
On Tuesday, he gave an update on the project, which will feature a 5-lane pool, lazy river, water slide, beach entry tot pool and changing rooms. Contractors are Edmonton-based Master Pools Alta.
Last month saw significant progress after two meetings, said Councillor Fournier. The first one on April 16 involved a site visit attended by Master Pools, the consultant and design team, which includes engineers and the architect, the Parks & Recreation Committee, and Gavin Graves, the Town’s director of operations. Michelle McKenzie, the Mayor, was also present. Afterwards, there was a three-hour meeting at The Armouries.
On April 30, a follow-up meeting was held via Zoom.
Out of these discussions, several key decisions were made, said Councillor Fournier. These included:
Creating a “corridor”, or concrete tunnel, to allow accessibility for maintenance and repairs once the pool is built. This will provide space for work crews to reach pipes and fittings, without the need for such drastic action as jackhammering; Choosing a PVC liner for the pool. This option would have a 10-year warranty and is known for its durability; and Having a so-called “trough” exit for the water slide. This means the water slide will have its own drop-off zone, away from the centre of activity, as opposed to an exit running into the main pool. One of the subjects discussed at the site visit, said Councillor Fournier, was a geotechnical survey that was completed on April 27. This involved drilling boreholes to find out about the land earmarked for the proposed pool, and whether there is a potential water table issue. Samples will be sent to engineers.
“If there is a water table issue, then something will have to be done about it – perhaps either weeping tiles or a sump pump,” said Councillor Fournier. “There are different possibilities and they are going to let us know what needs to be done.”
Another issue considered was what to do with equipment salvaged during the demolition of the old pool. This included water heaters, filters, and water pumps.
Master Pools recommended against using this old equipment for the new facility – and the Town decided to follow this advice. Instead, most of the items will be sold.
“Personally, I was not comfortable with using old equipment,” said Councillor Fournier. “It would be like putting an old muffler on your new car. Who would do that? I can’t tell you how much we will recoup by selling the old equipment. It’s a saving, but it’s not substantial.
“We may still be able to use some of the water pumps. For example, the water slide will need a pump.”
A big question about the project – can features be added once the pool has been built? – has now been answered, said Councillor Fournier.
“Could you add a runway slide, for instance? Could the pool have equipment added to it at a future date? The answer is yes. The runway slide is not part of this budget, but it doesn’t mean we can’t add it. It’s something that can be added once the pool is up.”
Councillor Fournier said he was satisfied with the progress of the project, while accepting some people probably wished it would go faster.
“I am quite happy with Master Pools’ knowledge and expertise and look forward to the project moving along,” he said. “We are trying to stay with the timelines as much as possible, keeping in mind a few obstacles such as COVID-19 that could come into play.”
Councillor Fournier was keen to give a big shout-out to the pool committee board: Corrie Scott (chairperson), Debbie McKinnon, Renee Kohls, and Louise Forester. He also thanked the efforts of committee members and citizens involved with fund-raising.
“It is very much appreciated, and much-needed,” he said.
Calling local contractors – you should have a chance to get involved in the pool project.
Perhaps your expertise is plumbing or electricity. Perhaps also you are in a position to donate material, such as concrete. If so, Master Pools, the pool committee and the Town of Maple Creek would be interested in learning what you have to offer.
“The whole idea of local contracting is a big thing,” said Councillor Al Fournier, chairperson of the Parks, Recreation & Culture Committee. “The goal will be to tender locally as much as possible, with Master Pools overlooking the project. I hope local businesses put in a bid.”
Councillor Fournier said local involvement would help reduce costs, cutting travel expenses and eliminating the need for workers to stay in hotels.
DATES AND MILESTONES
This schedule is tentative and subject to change.
* The week of April 20: the site survey was completed
* April 27: drilling for the Geotech survey was completed.
* April 27: Town Council passed and adopted a bylaw entering into an agreement with Master Pools Alta.
* May 14: the “Schematic Report” would be available.
* Construction drawings should be ready in 6-8 weeks.
* July 2021: start of construction of the pool.
* Construction to take 4-5 months.
* May-June 2022: tying up loose ends.
* July 2022: Pool opening.