The entrance to the Port Hardy swimming pool. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
The entrance to the Port Hardy swimming pool. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

The entrance to the Port Hardy swimming pool. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette) The entrance to the Port Hardy swimming pool. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Port Hardy’s indoor swimming pool tentatively scheduled to reopen by 2023

The budget that’s been presented ($2.3 million) to repair the pool won’t necessitate a tax increase

The District of Port Hardy is aiming to have its indoor swimming pool fixed up and reopened by 2023.

Staff reports on the pool, submitted by Chief Administrative Officer Heather Nelson-Smith, were discussed at the district’s last council meeting (Jan. 11), where Nelson-Smith noted that since the closure and draining of the pool, “two studies were undertaken to address the concerns relating to the pool structure and mechanical systems.”

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According to one of the reports, due to the continual breakdown of the swimming pool’s equipment, including a pool basin that was leaking substantially, the district had hired Stantec Consulting to provide a review of the structure and mechanical systems, where it was found that “the pool basin was still structurally sound even though it had been leaking substantially (over 40 cubic metres per day in 2021). Stantec also provided an overview of the mechanical systems and cost estimates for replacing the essential mechanical features, including dehumidification and chlorination systems.”

The report also noted the district received costing on two options for the pool basin, “one for a steel pool liner and the other for retiling and grouting. While there is a cost difference between the two options, the warranty, longevity and complete package that a pool liner offers is the preferred option for ensuring that the pool’s lifespan is extended.”

Nelson-Smith wrote that further costing from Myrtha Pools was obtained regarding a stainless steel pool liner, which came in at a cost of approximately $1,400,000-$1,600,000, “which is about 55-75 per cent higher than tile and grout.”

The report also listed the added benefits of a stainless steel pool liner:

Replacement of gutter systems;

New stairs;

New floor inlets;

New main drains;

New lane anchors;

All floor and lane markings;

Circulation pumps for flow rates;

Ultra violet secondary sanitizer system;

Horizontal high rate sand filters and media;

Digital flow meter;

Warranty and extended lifespan;

Grout would be required to be done again in 10 years; and

Complete installation.

There is also the issue of whether to chlorinate the pool using salt or calcium hypochlorite.

“Currently, the Port Hardy Pool is chlorinated using salt,” wrote Nelson-Smith. “Salt in the current pool has not been easy on the equipment; however, it is very nice to swim in and softer on the skin. Pool users love salt, while engineers love calcium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine). I spoke with a Myrtha Pool agent regarding the effects of salt on their pools. The pools are lined with a soft membrane and will not be affected by salt; however, all external equipment such as stairs, rails, and ladders will need to be powder-coated (aftermarket) or replaced regularly. Council has requested that a comparison of the two options be made, and Stantec will be providing a short report mid-month so that council can decide on future chlorination.”

The cost listed for salt – $136,922.00;

The cost listed for Calcium Hypochlorite – $ 14,938.00.

Nelson-Smith also recommended that a construction manager or project manager be employed “to oversee contracts, coordinate contractors and provide overall oversight of the project. Similar to how we coordinated the Arena Revitalization Project. A soft cost of $100,000 has been added to all options.”

As for a timeline for how long the project will take to finish, Nelson-Smith noted that Stantec is already working on Request for Proposal documents for the dehumidification system, mechanical replacements and pool liner.

“We anticipate them to report back in mid-January. Once awarded, the project should take nine months to complete, dependent on the supply chain. This means that the works will take place and hopefully conclude in 2022, with the opening being in 2023. All efforts to escalate the completion of this project will be implemented.”

Coun. Pat Corbett-Labatt said she thinks this is ultimately good news for the community, as “it looks like we’re going to have a pool, and I think that more than anything else [is] what our citizens want.”

Mayor Dennis Dugas noted the budget that’s been presented ($2.3 million) to repair the pool won’t necessitate a tax increase.

“We have already been over the years collecting money so we could put it into a fund for whatever we had to do with the pool, whether that was getting a new pool or fixing the old pool,” Dugas said, adding that, “at this particular time, there will not be a tax increase for the work that’s going to be done.”

Council voted and unanimously agreed to forward the pool reports on to the finance committee for budgeting purposes.


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Budget options for the finance committee to review. (Screenshot of report)

Budget options for the finance committee to review. (Screenshot of report)