In the near future, town council will have to decide whether to invest more money into the aquaplex or spend the cash towards a new one.
One of the key points for that consideration is knowing that the recreation building needs a new roof, due to leaking, which is valued at $365,000. Council heard about the cost Thursday, June 23 during a committee of the whole meeting where Justin Caslor, engineering technician for the Town of Ponoka, answered questions about the building.
“Overall the facility was in generally fair condition,” said Caslor.
He referred to a study conducted by RPM Consulting in January of the town’s recreation facilities. The aquaplex’s rating was 4.35 out of 5 with the site, building interior and exterior, systems and special equipment having a high rating. One category called “other systems” did not fare so well with a 3.4 rating.
The pool was built in 1976 with a wading pool added in 1990 and in 1998 the Kinsmen provided a donation used to replace the lighting at the pool’s boiler.
Coun. Marc Yaworski asked what other options there are for the next one to three years other than a full repair of the roof, which would mean a complete overhaul and removal of the roof. Caslor suggested not to spend any money if council intends to move forward with a new aquaplex in three years, as outlined in the culture and recreation plan.
Dave McPhee, director of operations and property services added spending $200,000 on the pool may provide a 10 year solution but would not completely fix the leak. Spending the full $365,000 would give the new roof at least 25 years of life.
CAO Albert Flootman estimates a new aquaplex at $12 million. He said the current building is fundamentally in good condition but there are certain areas that need attention. The town has also included the roof repair in the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program grant request but it is unclear if the project will be eligible.
The one thing the facility study did not take into consideration is if the building meets residents’ needs. The purpose of RPM’s work was to determine the building’s life and maintenance needs.
Despite the relatively high ratings there are several areas within the 45-page report that recommend repair or replacement of equipment within five to 10 years. These are some of the repair recommendations within each category.
Site: asphalt on the east side parking lot is deteriorating and is making rain drainage difficult and there are dips in the concrete sidewalk.
Building envelope/exterior: water is leaking through the roof and the roof membrane is over 20 years old. Sealant around the windows has deteriorated. Doors are missing weather stripping and there is minor damage to the siding.
Building interior: There is water staining on the acoustical ceiling tiles due to the roof leaking. The concrete floor in the mechanical room is deteriorating, the wood in the sauna is aging and there are other minor issues with the vinyl flooring.
Mechanical/electrical: Main electrical distribution panels are showing signs of corrosion. Generally there are a range of minor fixes estimated to be replaced in five to 10 years.
Structure: The wood covered walls and ceiling are showing signs of water damage due to the leaking roof.
Special equipment: This category showed the treatment pumps and filtration equipment will reach the end of their life in 10 years. Same for the boilers supplying water to the main pool tanks and the sauna heater. There is not enough storage for pool treatment chemicals.
Other systems: There are several out of date systems including the current fire alarm system. The current roof access ladder does not meet safety code standards.
Flootman told council that in the near future administration will be asking council to make a decision on the future of the aquaplex.