After the closure for more than two years, the reopening of the Port Hardy Pool is set to take place this fall.
The decision to close the pool in June 2021 was necessitated by a series of issues including leaks of up to 40 cubic metres per day, a non-operational boiler, and a faulty dehumidification system, introduced by councillor and current deputy mayor of District of Port Hardy, Janet Dorward. To make the pool operational again and cater to the community’s needs better, the District of Port Hardy embarked on an ambitious renovation project.
“We engaged works to be completed, including site surveys and planning,” said District of Port Hardy chief administrative officer Heather Nelson-Smith. “Contacts were drafted and awarded in October 2022 for Phase 1, the liner was purchased and arrived on site in March of 2023, however, work on the pool deconstruction began in December of 2022. Phase 2 was awarded in March of 2023 and is well underway.”
“The pool is currently more than 45 years old and is the most missed asset on the North Island. This renovation involves upgrading the pool liner or basin and improving the distribution systems… we anticipate fewer maintenance-related closures with these upgrades,” Dorward said.
To address the issues, the District of Port Hardy opted to install a Myrtha System pool liner which will be placed directly inside the existing basin. The upgrade will also introduce dual disinfection measures, including UV disinfection, to ensure water quality, Dorward mentioned.
The renovation process faced significant challenges, especially due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply chain disruptions and limited access to the workforce resulted in a doubling of the project costs since the initial estimates in 2020, Dorward said. However, the District of Port Hardy was determined to see the project through and allocated $2.3 million from debt proceeds, along with accessing funds through general surplus funds, the province’s Growing Communities Fund, Community Forest Reserve, and a generous donation from BHP.
Construction is currently on track for a soft opening by the end of September 2023.
“The soft opening is due to supply chain issues which are causing a minor delay in the installation of the new dehumidification system,” Dorward said. “We anticipate its arrival in late October, followed by installation in November. To address this, we are actively exploring alternative solutions to enable the pool’s timely opening in late September.”
An incredible celebration is being planned, which will shake the town with excitement, Dorward added. The official open date will be announced by the District of Port Hardy in due course.
“Our goal is to maintain year-round operational programming,” Dorward said. “Previously, we closed during summers for maintenance, but with the new facility, we anticipate year-round usage with occasional short closures for infrastructure upkeep. This provides an excellent opportunity for our skilled Recreation Team to introduce new programs and initiatives, leveraging the pool as a tremendous asset for our community.”
For updates on the renovation progress, visit: https://porthardy.ca/community/recreation/port-hardy-pool/