Committee hopes to have an indoor pool in Thompson open three years from now

Thompson will have been without an indoor public pool for more than four years by the time a new facility is ready, if the city meets a timeline set out in a pool planning committee presentation.

Pool panning committee members went over the presentation at a June 4 meeting at the Thompson Regional Community Centre. It proposes a grand opening for a new indoor pool in June 2022.

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Critical safety issues with infrastructure at the Norplex Pool prompted city council to immediately and permanently shut down the facility Feb. 13.

The decision to shut down the pool was based on the city’s own engineering assessments as well as some conducted by outside organizations, including mechanical and electrical evaluations from 2014 and 2015 that identified needed repairs and upgrades with price tags of $629,000 and $3.5 million, plus or minus 25 per cent, respectively.

Among the needed repairs and upgrades identified were a new dehumidifying system for the building, with a price tag of $600,000 to purchase and install, a new electrical panel costing $700,000, new louvers and dampers in the ventilation system, with a price tag of $500,000, and rerouting of return air ducts at a cost of $200,000. In addition, the supports for the waterslide are starting to rust and replacing them would cost an estimated $250,000.

An administration pool team was established right after the closure and has met weekly since then. A care and maintenance plan was established for the Norplex Pool and a pool planning survey was created for residents to tell the city what they’d like to see in a new pool.

The 2019 financial plan included $500,000 for feasibility studies and engineering designs for a new pool, and requests for proposals were created for a feasibility study of the Norplex Pool and a mould and asbestos assessment. The feasibility study will provide information on the options to upgrade the existing structure or build a new one.

The pool committee is chaired by deputy mayor Kathy Valentino and Todd Harwood and includes three subcommittees: fundraising, planning and design, and marketing and communications.

Sandra Oberdorfer and Molly Stapleton chair the fundraising committee, Rachelle Huculak and Luke Deibert lead the design committee and Bruce Krentz is in charge of the marketing and communications committee. The sub-committees will meet on a regular basis and report back to the community pool committee.

The pool planning survey can be completed online or hard copies can be obtained at the TRCC front desk.

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