The Ponoka Aquaplex will be closed for annual maintenance and facility improvements from Aug. 28 to Oct. 3, after town council approved the transfer of funds to complete the planned improvements.
During a special council meeting on Aug. 21, council voted to reallocate funds to complete the work as the lowest bid received was over the approved budget.
Transfers totalling $77,000 was approved — $50,000 from the way finding signs capital project and $27,000 from the recreation facilities reserve.
Administration stated in the council agenda package that the funding reallocation wouldn’t have any impact on the town’s overall budget.
After a four-week tender, seven bids were received with a compliant low bid of $426,900. The previously approved budget for the project was $350,000.
Work planned during the closure will include:
• upgrades to the multipurpose room. This space will be updated with freshly painted walls, new flooring, windows, furniture and a new audio/visual system;
• renovation of the bathrooms located beside the multipurpose room to be used by individuals accessing the tennis/pickleball courts and multipurpose room users;
• installation of a new fire monitoring system;
• draining, scrubbing and deep cleaning of the main pool, deep tank, hot tub, wading pool and sauna;
• deep cleaning of the change rooms and washrooms, including floors, walls and lockers;
• scrubbing and power washing the pool deck; and
• painting throughout the facility as needed.
The upgrades are part of the town’s multi-year modernization plan for the Aquaplex and align with the town’s strategic plan to invest in the quality of life of citizens, the agenda stated.
Since 2020, the town has spent over $900,000 on Aquaplex improvements, including the refurbished and resurfaced hot tub, poll deck and wading pool, the new 10-foot slide and chemical system upgrades.
“This modernization of the Aquaplex this year will better serve users and community groups,” said Andrew Jones, manager of Parks, Recreation and Facilities.
Future upgrades to the Aquaplex will depend on future consideration and budget approval by town council he added.
The closure was planned for September as it’s a slow time with no school lessons and few public lessons, said Jones.
During the maintenance and facility improvements, Ponoka Aquaplex and recreation passes will be honoured at the Burman University pool in Lacombe (6730 University Drive) and the Lacombe Kinsmen Aquatic Centre (5429-53 Street).
The Aquaplex office will remain open during the maintenance period allow facility users to book fall swimming lessons and advanced programming. Office hours will be Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.