Today’s Poll


By Contributor
February 10th, 2015


Why is the NDCC Aquatic Centre closing in spring 2015?

The RDCK needs to complete critical upgrades the pool area or “natatorium.” This work will extend the life of aquatic centre by about 40 years.

When will the facility close and reopen?

The aquatic centre will be closed for renovations on May 1, 2015 and construction is expected to take 8 months. While we had originally planned to begin construction in April instead of May, the newly elected RDCK board and recreation commission required additional time to properly review and approve plans and budgets before the project could start.  

What areas of the NDCC will be closed and what areas will remain open?

The entire aquatic centre will be closed during renovations. This includes the leisure, lap and teaching pools, steam room, whirlpool and sauna. The pool change rooms will be closed intermittently during the shutdown. The arena, fitness area, meeting rooms and offices will remain open.

Upgrades and Renovations

What specific renovations are planned for the pool area?  

Work plans for renovations include:

  • new deck, gutter, tank tiles and water proofing membranes
  • new underwater lighting
  • a relocated lifeguard station for better staff access and supervision
  • new sauna and storage  
  • new wall finishes  
  • new mechanical systems and heat recovery
  • replace electrical panels and equipment
  • building envelope repairs
  • renew change areas including lockers, fixtures
  •  mechanical/chemical rooms with loading lift  

Why not just build a new facility instead of doing all these upgrades?

The Recreation Commission and staff have sought professional advice to identify a longer term course of action between pool renovation and building new. Investigation into the structural condition of the building and facilities indicate that the pool structure is viable for some time yet, whereas building new would cost a lot more. It makes economic, environmental and practical sense to prolong the life of the well-functioning facility we already have.


What is the budget for the renovation and upgrades?

In January the Nelson and District Recreation Commission and the RDCK Board approved a budget of $4.92 million for these critical upgrades.

How much will be borrowed to pay for the renovations and upgrades?

The maximum borrowing for all renovations is $4.5 million. The RDCK will borrow over a five year term which will save $700,000 in borrowing costs versus a ten year term.

What are the cost savings of doing this project now vs. waiting?

The Quantity Surveyor for the project estimates each month that the project is delayed equates to a one per cent increase in cost and that the best tendering period for competitive bids is January to February.  
Each month of delay translates to about $40,000 in additional costs, as well as a reduced number of contractors available to bid on the project. It makes much more financial and practical sense to begin this project now than to wait.

Why begin construction in May?

  • Better tendering period for competitive pricing
  • Decrease risk of inflation and corresponding increase in costs
  • Reduces the risk of losing the 2016 winter season
  • Participation at the NDCC is highest in the winter season (January – March). For the last 12 months participation by quarter and number of individual visits was:
  • Fall 2013 (October – December) – 64,585
  • Winter (January – March) – 75,090
  • Spring (April – June) 51,217
  • Summer (July – September) 41,673

Why not begin construction in July?

  • Increased cost
  • Aquatic centre would be closed for both of the busiest seasons (fall and winter)  

Facility Users and RDCK Residents

How does the closure affect pass holders?

Pass holders can still use their passes to enjoy the arena and fitness area if they wish. Facility pass holders who only use the aquatic centre and have already purchased a pass that expires after May 1, 2015 will also have the option to receive a pro-rated credit or refund while the aquatic centre is closed.  
How does the closure affect pool user groups?

The pool area will be closed to all user groups and to the public during renovations. The RDCK is in discussions with user groups to explore alternatives to the aquatic centre while renovations take place.  
There is never a good time to close an important and well-used community facility like the NDCC aquatic centre. Nonetheless, it is more prudent to renovate now so we can ensure the facility is reliable and remains open in the future than to wait and possibly have to react to an equipment breakdown that closes the facility unexpectedly.  

Did the RDCK consult with RDCK residents about these renovations and will the residents have input into any other upgrades planned for recreational facilities?  

Yes, the RDCK discussed these aquatic centre renovations in public meetings for our Nelson and District Recreation Master Plan in spring 2014. Upgrades planned for other aging recreational facilities will also be done in a systematic way that reflects our master plan, and the RDCK will continue to share those plans with residents.

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