Leisure Centre back in business

Renovations complete

  • Sep. 29, 2011 5:00 a.m.
The ‘Smarties’ – sound dampening devices – have been taken down at the pool.

The ‘Smarties’ – sound dampening devices – have been taken down at the pool.

After three weeks of downtime, the Leisure Centre is up and running keeping Maple Ridge residents happy and healthy with the completion of renovations.

They include those to the men and women’s pool change rooms, a wider door to the family change room and two offices for wheelchair access, new partitions in women’s pool change room, an upgraded elevator cab, to name a few of the projects.

The new tiles in the change rooms will last longer than 30 years, facilities manager Michael Millward told council.

The department is still trying to figure out what to do with the 53 “Smartie” shaped fibreglass insulated sound-dampening devices that hang from the roof over the pools. They’re intended to reduce echoing and sound in the noisy area and make it easier for staff and lifeguards to hear any calls, but had to be taken down because of safety concerns after the fasteners used to suspend them reached their lifespan.

Coun. Al Hogarth wanted to know if the arts community could use them while Coun. Mike Morden suggested a new way of fastening them could allow their re-use.

Staff, however, will consider all the latest strategies for sound dampening.

The rooftop solar-thermal panels and the heat-reclaiming system installed a few years ago is saving about $70,000 in yearly heating costs at the Leisure Centre.


‘Clean up MR’

Maple Ridge council will talk about how to clean up empty lots at its Oct. 11 meeting, then could seek staff input on how to do that.

Coun. Cheryl Ashlie said earlier that she wants to find a way of speeding up the process so such lots don’t cost the district dollars in enforcement action.

Coun. Al Hogarth, though, suggested any measures include a proactive approach working with property owners.

“There has to be some support here rather than just slapping on a ‘clean it up, or else’ situation,” he said.

But Ashlie said the efforts are directed at vacant buildings or lots, not occupied buildings with landlords and tenants.

The lot on 203rd Street and Dewdney Trunk Road “has become quite overgrown and it’s messy and everything.

I don’t think a significant corner like that should be impacted with somebody living outside the community not keeping the lot clear and clean of debris.”

She added she wanted the same approach applied throughout the district and said people in western Maple Ridge want the same standards as required in the downtown.

Hogarth agreed the district sometimes has to get tough, but that having a pro-active approach could prevent a building from becoming derelict and pointed out it has become expensive demolishing a building, noting they now have to almost be taken apart piece by piece.


Another condo

A new building is going up in the Port Haney area, next to the Haney Bypass after receiving the final OK from Maple Ridge council. The property is at 11580 – 223rd St. on the south side of the Haney Bypass and will see a four-storey wood frame building constructed with 51 condos and underground parking. A staff report says the proponent is using colours and materials suitable for the heritage area and says the building has an “attractive presence” to the street.