KAMLOOPS — After waiting two years for their pool to re-open, including construction delays along the way that pushed the opening date back, Westsyde residents will get to swim at the renovated pool starting on Friday.
It doesn't take long to notice the difference two years has made at the Westsyde Pool. The pool has been re-modeled with many windows that brighten up the space and make it more welcoming.
"Some of the changes people are going to see right away is it's not nearly as dark as the old building was," said the city's parks & recreation facilities manager Jeff Putnam. "A lot of natural light in the space above here, and as a matter of fact we have so much light that we need very few light fixtures, so we're going to save quite a bit of energy."
On Friday, the pool will finally open nearly 26 months after it closed in June 2015 due to a rotting roof. There is now a new roof with an improved circulation system to prevent moisture build-up that caused the closure in the first place.
"We did add a new de-humidification system, but it's the original HVAC system," said Putnam. "So we will be going back to council with some options for future replacement costs."
There will be a free public swim from 2-8 p.m. on Friday, giving residents a chance to try out the brightened facility they lobbied hard to keep open.
"It's free for everyone to come and enjoy, and then after tomorrow, we're back to regular operations," said Putnam. "Best thing to do is check the city's website with all the operating hours and all the lessons."
Admission to the Westsyde Pool will remain the same, as will the programs it offered prior to the shut down. But the city says there are a couple new programs starting in the fall.
"The Canucks Autism Network are doing a program on Sunday mornings with children and families with autistic children, and our phones are ringing off the hook for that one. We're really excited. That's brand new," Putnam noted, adding it will be popular. "There's a new preschool swim program with parents, and that's weekdays Monday to Thursday."
In the coming weeks, Westsyde Pool will be getting the world's largest indoor aquatic climbing wall to finish off the refurbished facility.
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