It’s still unclear just when the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre and its pools will re-open again. But while the facilities are shuttered, the city says it’s a perfect time to do some repair work.
Recreation staff arranged for some minor repairs and updates while the centre is closed due to COVID-19, explained David Boag, the general manager of parks, recreation, and culture.
“No major works are being undertaken at this time,” he said. Instead, it’s just a series of small jobs.
It’s work that more than a few passersby have been curious about, asking staff about the draining of the pools and the workers toiling away inside the centre.
The tasks have included some warranty work to remove and replace the expansion sealant used on the new pool when it was retrofitted, he said.
Back in February, a $12-million upgrade to the leisure pool, lobby, and change rooms was complete.
“The material used is not performing in the manner that it should, and is being replaced under warranty,” Boag elaborated, adding that staff are also taking this opportunity to acid wash the tiles and grout in each of the other two pools to make them look the same as the new pool.
“As I speak to colleagues around the region, we have all tried to take advantage of the COVID-19 closures to complete upgrades or maintenance of recreation facilities that we scheduled as part of our annual work plan,” Boag told The News, noting that annual maintenance shutdowns at the leisure centre typically happens at the end of the summer.
But the unexpected COVID break provided an earlier chance to get the work done.
“The tanks will be refilled shortly, and re-balanced ready for opening, once all the other COVID-19 related upgrades have been completed,” he said.
“People have been very patient as we’ve all worked to slow the transmission of COVID-19, and we want all of our customers to come back to an exceptional customer experience given the new reality that we are living with,” he said.
As for when that will happen, he said that’s still up in the air.
“Staff are working on developing the safe operating protocols re COVID-19, such as maximum occupancy, physical distancing, customer service counter screens, and safety evaluation of work space and common access areas – as required by the provincial health officer – prior to re-opening the facility,” Boag said.
“We are being very deliberate about the planning around the required engineered and operational changes to the facility to ensure that our work models the best practices and inspires confidence for the facility users and staff.”
In the meantime, he said the sport fields are ready for use and can be used by the clubs once their plans are in place.
And likewise, staff are already working on recommissioning the Hammond Pool, and anticipate swim clubs will be able to have access to that outdoor aquatic space sometime in July.
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