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Port Hardy’s indoor swimming pool reopening delayed again

The swimming pool’s new boiler will be commissioned on May 1
District of Port Hardy Facebook photo

The grand reopening of the District of Port Hardy’s indoor swimming pool has been put on hold once again.

The swimming pool was up for discussion at Port Hardy council’s committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, April 23, where Chief Administrative Officer Heather Nelson-Smith had the unfortunate role of breaking the bad news to council during her verbal report.

“I know this is not exactly the news that everybody wants to hear, but just so that everybody is well aware, we are currently still in the process of reopening the pool,” stated Nelson-Smith, who then explained that water has been in the pool now for roughly seven and a half weeks, everything is working with regards to the chemicals, the pool cleaning has been completed, staff is working hard, the diving board has been installed, and the giant slide is now back in place.

“We are ready to start welcoming people in, but as you know, we’ve had a couple little hiccups with the boiler,” Nelson-Smith said to council, stating one of the issues was they needed to have an emergency shutoff installed at the last minute, and then when they went to start up the boiler, they realized the regulator that was supplying the propane to the boiler needed to be upgraded.

She noted she has recently spoken to Stantec, the company in charge of the pool revitalization project, and she found out it’s possible that the regulator had actually been broken for a number of years, ever since the last boiler “crapped out on us.”

The district had the boiler replaced back in 2020 but then in 2021 the new boiler suddenly stopped working.

“It’s quite possible that the regulator was busted at that point in time,” confirmed Nelson-Smith, “so that needs to be updated.”

She stated the district’s new boiler will be commissioned on May 1, and they will need to spend a few days heating the pool before full commissioning can happen and Stantec can signoff on the pool.

“Then we can actually get the health inspector to come in and look at things,” added Nelson-Smith.

Once the health inspector does an inspection, Stantec will finish its certificates of approval, and then both of them will signoff at the exact same time.

“We don’t have dates confirmed as of yet as to when that’s going to happen,” warned Nelson-Smith, who then noted that once everything has been completed and signed off on, “we’ll need a couple of days to make sure that our swimmers can swim” before opening the pool to the public.

The district had planned eight weeks ago to hold a couple of swims around the beginning of May, primarily because they were expecting the pool project to be all finished and ready to go, but unfortunately they will have to notify everyone who signed up that the swims will have to be delayed.

Mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt thanked everyone for being patient with the constantly changing schedule for reopening the pool.

Port Hardy’s indoor swimming pool has been shut down and under construction ever since June of 2021. Council had originally planned to replace the pool with a brand new multiplex, but that project ended up fizzling out after funding from the provincial and federal government never arrived.

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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