Pools at the Sechelt Aquatic Centre will remain closed until early November, as work is now underway to temporarily improve the fire protection system until a complete replacement of the sprinkler system can be done.
On Sept. 15, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) announced a contractor had been secured, and work on the temporary linear heat detection system will begin as soon as supplies arrive.
“The SCRD has undertaken additional measures to ensure the safety of those using the facility at this time. This has included regular updates with the Sechelt Fire Department and the use of a staff member conducting fire watch. This staff member conducts hourly patrols, checking every room in the facility and also does a walk-around of the exterior of the facility,” the SCRD’s press release states.
“We understand the importance of the Sechelt Aquatic Centre to residents in our community and we share your frustration with this extended closure,” Shelley Gagnon, SCRD general manager of community services, said in the release. “Our staff have worked on every possible scenario to try to minimize the length of time for this closure and we are appreciative of our community’s patience as we work to get this vital project completed.”
Previously, the pools were expected to be closed until after Thanksgiving, in October, by request of the Emergency Operations Centre’s response and Stage 4 of the SCRD’s water restrictions.
Hours have been extended at the Gibsons and District Aquatic Centre. The Pender Harbour and Aquatic Fitness Centre is also open. Revised schedules for swimming lessons at the Sechelt Aquatic Centre will be shared by the SCRD.
Issues with the sprinkler system at the aquatic centre were first identified in December 2020 after a leak led to the discovery of microbiologic corrosion in the pipes. It has since been determined that a complete replacement is required.
The SCRD board decided in June to pursue a phased approach, including installing a temporary linear heat detection system as soon as possible and a full replacement of the system in 2022 and 2023.