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District of Port Hardy pushes back swimming pool’s reopening to December

After a closure that has lasted more than two years, the District of Port Hardy’s indoor swimming pool is now on track to open by the end of December. (District of Port Hardy photo)

The grand reopening of the District of Port Hardy’s indoor swimming pool is going to be delayed just a little bit longer than anticipated.

Originally the district was looking at a soft opening near the end of September, but in a news release that was sent out on Sept. 5, the district noted it has “had to reevaluate our timeline as items still left to be completed will push us past our anticipated opening later this month. We are unhappy about this, but it is the reality with all projects as we deal with currently global issues, including supply and contractor availability, emergencies, designing and permitting delays.”

As such, the new anticipated reopening date has been tentatively moved to mid December, 2023. The reason for this? “As you may recall, we had a delay from the start of phase two, where the de-humidification system, the machine that keeps the pool air dry, would be delayed in arriving on site until the end of October, with installation happening in the first part of November.

“With this knowledge, we looked into a temporary system to allow us to open on time and have a minor interruption when the new unit arrived. This cost is around $40,000 and is only valuable if that duration is long enough to support the costs. With the final remaining items scheduled to be completed in mid-October, including tiling and the time it takes to commission, bringing on a temporary unit is no longer viable.”

Basically, this delay means the district can only “fill the pool with water and test once the new dehumidifier is installed, meaning that the pool will be commissioned in the latter part of November. Then we coordinate the testing, training, fine-tuning and final permitting, including the health permit; this will take about two weeks.”

The district concluded its release by acknowledging the pool has had an extended closure, “and we are just as disappointed as you are … While we have extra time, we will prepare the facility for your enjoyment and devise a great plan to support the opening. As soon as we are ready - you will be diving in!”

When asked to comment, Port Hardy Mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt confirmed the district is “very disappointed that we have to extend the opening date, but we are super excited that once it opens it will be open a lot, and we’re very excited to be able to have people using the pool again.”

Corbett-Labatt added once the indoor pool reopens it’ll have some nice renovations done inside and they’re hoping it won’t need any more major maintenance work for quite some time.

The pool has been closed for much needed repairs ever since June of 2021.

Originally, the district had planned to entirely replace the 40+ year old pool with a state of the art multiplex. However, after being turned down for funding by the federal and provincial governments, council decided to move forward with a “Pool Revitalization Project” that would simply upgrade the existing pool.

Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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