Pool up­grade con­tin­ues

Slight de­lay has Town of Car­bon­ear eyeing April 11 for re­open­ing

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY ANDREWROBINSON

Work is well un­der­way to in­stall the new heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing (HVAC) sys­tem at the Car­bon­ear Swim­ming Pool, and if all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, the town ex­pects the fa­cil­ity to re­open April 11.

“That’s our tar­get-date,” said pub­lic works di­rec­tor Brian O’Grady.

The end re­sult will see the fa­cil­ity’s heat­ing sys­tem switch from us­ing an oil-fired boiler to elec­tric­ity. It will also in­cor­po­rate a new pool de­hu­mid­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem and heat re­cov­ery tech­nol­ogy.

It is ex­pected the $900,000 pro­ject will sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce heat­ing costs, which will even­tu­ally off­set the town’s bud­geted $300,000 share of the pro­ject. O’Grady said the pro­ject is on bud­get. There have been some mi­nor change-or­ders, with un­ex­pected re­duc­tions in costs for some com­po­nents, which have off­set in­creases to other as­pects of the pro­ject.

The pool has been closed since Jan. 17. The orig­i­nal tar­get date for re­open­ing was the end of March.

Re­moval of the old boiler sys­tem and all associated air ducts has been com­pleted. Be­cause the pro­ject re­quires the mount­ing of units onto the roof, new steel beams have been in­stalled. All duct work has been com­pleted, ex­clud­ing those parts that im­me­di­ately con­nect to the air con­di­tion­ing and heat­ing units.

Elec­tri­cal switchgears are also in place, and the trans­former pad has been mounted out­side the fa­cil­ity. “Ba­si­cally, it’s com­ing along quite well,” said O’Grady. The town is also over­see­ing some cos­metic changes at the pool. That in­cludes an over­haul of the front lobby, with the of­fice area set to lose its walls. It will be re­placed with a re­cep­tion desk sit­u­ated in the cor­ner of the lobby. Many of the walls, in­clud­ing those on the pool deck, are be­ing re­painted.

The pool’s re­open­ing will be warmly re­ceived by it users, many of whom have made al­ter­nate ar­range­ments in or­der to get ex­er­cise and train­ing. The Poseidon Swim Club has been prac­tic­ing at pools in St. John’s and Mount Pearl. Pre-com­pet­i­tive swim­mers have been un­able to prac­tice.

“Poseidon is anx­iously await­ing the re-open­ing of the Car­bon­ear Pool so that our swim­mers no longer have to travel for prac­tices,” said coach Ju­nior Somers, whose team has sev­eral swim meets re­main­ing this sea­son. He said the up­grades should cre­ate a more com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment for swim­mers and spec­ta­tors.

Tri-Con Spe­cial Olympics was also ini­tially sched­uled to host a swim meet in Car­bon­ear at the be­gin­ning of April. Aquat­ics coach El­iz­a­beth Evely said if the pool opens April 11, her group will likely host the meet in the mid­dle of May.

“ They can’t wait to get back in the wa­ter,” she said.

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