Aquatic Centre shuts down for maintenance until May as construction on new building continues

The Aquatic Centre has been shut down for maintenance until May.

With the new Aquatic Centre scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, the existing pool is supposed to remain open to the public until the new centre is built.

According to Kavie Toor, facilities and business development director of UBC Athletics and Recreation, the centre was shut down to conduct the maintenance and repairs that are necessary to keep the pool operational over the next year. Different parts of the centre, including the indoor pool and the sauna rooms, have been routinely shut down over the last year.

“[Our goal is] primarily to ensure that an important facility like the Aquatic Centre can remain open for students and the community for the entire period until the new facility is open,” said Toor.

The maintenance required includes work on the lighting, gutter and pumping systems along with minor concluding works from the last year’s engineering audit.

The Aquatic Centre launched an engineering audit last summer for a number of maintenance works after experiencing a series of frequent shutdowns due to various problems with its mechanical system. The facility completed the bulk of the maintenance entailed in this audit last fall, concurrently with its authorization for the current shutdown.

The facility is scheduled to reopen on May 4.

Toor also said that the Aquatic Centre has been in adequately operating condition since completing the work from the last engineering audit. This shutdown is part of their regular maintenance plan, with this time period chosen because it is when the facility generally receives fewer patrons.

“It’s functioned really well for us in the last nine months or so without any issues," said Toor. "We are very pleased [with] where it’s currently at, acknowledging that it’s an older facility."

In terms of the current progress on the construction of the new Aquatic Centre, Toor said that the civil work for the facility is for the most part complete. The construction team has now installed the structure of the basement and is currently in the process of framing the pools.

Toor also said that he is satisfied with the pace at which the construction crews have worked.

“We’re currently on schedule, on budget and really pleased with the work that the construction crew and all our trades are doing,” said Toor.

Toor expects the new Aquatic Centre to open as scheduled, but also said that unexpected circumstances may potentially arise in the construction process.

“There’s always the caveat that this is construction, and there [are] all these risks that may occur, but at this point in time, we’re all very confident that we’re going to be opening in fall 2016,” said Toor.