Hundreds of people took a dive in the Terrace & District Aquatic Centre’s new pool on Nov. 22.
The centre’s new leisure pool, lap pool and hot tub was packed on Thursday when the doors to the new facility opened at 3 p.m. No ribbon cutting ceremony yet, as construction work is still going on for the centre’s foyer and front entrance.
The facility saw 143 people walk through the front doors after being open for an hour. Right now the centre is only accepting 200 people at a time as the department of leisure services continue their training on new systems, says Carmen Didier, city director of leisure services.
Kids leapt off the diving board, played with pool toys and water features in the leisure pool. Several say they were happy to see the pool finally open, though they wished the diving board was higher.
Some also noted the facility’s lack of a strong chlorine smell. Didier says that was mitigated by the UV light disinfection system installed in all three pools.
Norm Parry, a frequent lunchtime swimmer at the old facility, also says he’s glad to be back. He says he had been travelling to Kitimat since the pool’s closure to do his laps there, and for aquatic therapy on his hip.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while now, it’s great to get back in the pool and see everyone having fun,” Parry says. “It’s good to meet folks that were regular pool attendees, we haven’t crossed paths for a while so it’s good to see them back here.”
The centre’s interim operating hours will be Monday to Friday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and on Saturdays to Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. with regular operating hours on Dec. 3. There’s free admission until Dec.2, and after the rates will be the same as they were for the old facility, according to Didier.
All fitness classes, swim lessons, private and school bookings will begin in January 2019. The department is also hiring more lifeguards and aquatic centre cashiers.
The pool has been closed since March 2017. Originally expected to open early 2018, the $8.8 million revitalization project was delayed after a defect was discovered last August in the tile works around the edge of the main pool.