The delay is due to issues identified during the demolition phase of the Leisure Centre project. (files)

Leisure Centre opening delayed until summer

Maple Ridge pool facility upgrades were supposed to be done by spring.

The opening of the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre has been delayed until next August, instead of sometime this spring.

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden and council were briefed on the project by facilities operation manager Michael Millward after a tour of the construction site on Monday.

The summer completion date is because of issues identified during the demolition phase of the project.

Those issues are often encountered in renovation projects, Millward said later. Those included discovering a concrete-encased conduit or pipe that contained ventilation pipes and fire alarm wire, buried three metres below where they wanted to put the new hot tub.

That then takes time to plan its rerouting and demolition.

“It is a 38-year-old building,” Millward said.

“Those are some of the things that we had no idea existed. During any renovation, you do encounter unforseen building conditions that were not anticipated. We’re overcoming them.”

Millward said that the water fall structure also had to be redesigned while another surprise was discovering a secondary concrete slab buried beneath where they wanted to put the new mechanical room. That slab had to be X-rayed, assessed and removed before work started on that part of the renovations.

Millward added that crews are now finished with the demolition and are now in the construction phase and that he’s confident the project will be done by August.

All of the extra costs will be covered by the 15-per-cent contingency fund set up for the project, meaning the cost to the taxpayer won’t change, he added.

Approximate cost for the restoration project is $10 million.

The renovated structure will have completely new filtration, piping, chlorination and electrical systems as well as a new leisure pool and hot tub.

The leisure pool will be larger than the one it replaced, and feature a beach entry and a lazy river, while the larger hot tub also will be universally accessible.

Two garage-style doors will give larger access, connecting the pool area to the fenced patio outside.

“The structure is nothing wrong with it. It’s getting a whole new engine,” Millward said.

In 2014, it was estimated to cost $5.5 million to repair the pool and filtration systems. However, the price tag grew after reconstruction of the lobby and changerooms was added to the project.

“We recognize that the community is looking forward to having this facility back in operation as quickly as possible. Our team is working to balance the construction timeline and project budget to ensure that we deliver a first-rate facility for our citizens,” said Millward.

Morden said in a release that the finished project will be “incredible.”

“The tour gave all of us on council a taste of how the new facility will be more open, deliver privacy and security for facility users and make our Leisure Centre more accessible than ever before,” said Morden.

He said, from his experience in commercial construction, that it’s common to find things that will impact a project’s timing, especially one of this size and scope.

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