Kamloops, BC – The City will be breathing new life into the Canada Games Aquatic Centre (CGAC) as a necessary infrastructure improvement project gets underway in June. Council voted today to authorize additional funding for the project to allow several revitalization and modernization elements to be added to the original scope of the project.
The main reason for this project is to replace several critical infrastructure components of the facility that are near or past their expected design life, including the roof and walls of the pool building; the boilers; and the mechanical, electrical, and HVAC systems. The project will also include several components to improve the overall sustainability, accessibility, and functionality of the building, including LED lighting and more energy-efficient hot tubs, sauna, and steam room.
“The pool was built in the early 90s and it’s showing its age,” said Byron McCorkell, the City’s Community and Protective Services Director. “It’s no different than your house—even with regular maintenance, eventually you will need to replace the roof and put in a new furnace.”
Included in the renovation will be a complete overhaul of the wet and dry change rooms and introducing more individual change rooms to improve accessibility and security.
“Personal safety and security of property are priorities at the TCC,” said Sean Smith, Business Operations and Events Supervisor. “The change room renovations will address the public concerns we’ve heard and will create an environment that is inclusive and accessible for all users.”
To accommodate the construction, the CGAC will be closed for six months. From June 25-28, the facility will host over 600 competitive swimmers for the annual Swim BC Provincials. Immediately following that event, on June 29, the pool will be closed for construction and is expected to reopen by January 2, 2021.
“The project team has looked at every possible option for keeping the pool open, but this project involves literally removing the entire roof of the building,” said McCorkell. “It would be impossible to maintain any kind of public access with this level of construction.”
To minimize the impact on pool users, the City will extend the hours at Brock Pool and Westsyde Pool; however, the public can expect to see changes to the schedules at these facilities, including swim lessons and public swim times.
“We recognize the impact this closure will have on the community, especially our local competitive swim organizations,” said Andrew Smeaton, Aquatics Supervisor. “We are working hard to meet the community needs through expanded hours at Brock and Westsyde and are developing schedules that will maximize access to these facilities for as many people as possible.”
During construction, the rest of the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) will remain open, with the exception of Hillside Stadium, which will be closed in June to replace the artificial turf. The Stadium is scheduled to reopen in early July.
Residents with memberships that include pool access will be compensated for the pool closure. Members will receive a credit on their PerfectMind account. Credits can be applied to a gym and/or track membership, recreation program, or other facility pass. Members also have the option of receiving a refund, which will be applied to the original form of payment. Memberships that do not include pool access will not be affected by the closure.
“Our members, leaseholders, and partners are important to us, and we want to minimize any inconvenience this closure may cause,” said Smith. “Our Customer Relations Representatives are ready to answer questions, process refunds, and find the best solutions available during the closure to help residents meet their fitness goals.”
“We’re excited for all the improvements this project will bring to this facility, particularly with regard to its sustainability and accessibility,” said McCorkell. “The pool is incredibly well-used by the community, and this project will extend its life by another 30 years.”
The TCC is the heart of recreation, health, and wellness in Kamloops. It is the largest and most comprehensive venue of its kind in the region, and it has dedicated facilities that are designed to meet the needs of all levels and abilities. The success of the TCC has exceeded expectations, and users’ demand has increased by over 300% of the original predictions.
The Canada Games Aquatic Centre opened to the public in 1993 after hosting the Canada Summer Games. The building envelope (walls and roof), mechanical; electrical; and heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems have all been well maintained, but they are original to the building and are near or past their expected design life.
The City is utilizing an Integrated Project Delivery model to deliver this project, which provides certainty in costs and timelines. This approach brings all project partners together early in the design stages to develop the project plan collaboratively. This method has proven successful in optimizing project results; increasing value to the owner; reducing waste; and maximizing efficiency through all phase of design, fabrication, and construction.