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Pool program adjusted for possible delay at WMC

Contingency plans are in place to continue using the Elmira pool should the new aquatic facility at the Woolwich Memorial Centre not be ready to use by September.

The possible delay stems from the need to replace a large dehumidifier, which is scheduled to be delivered and installed by the end of August. As the contractor can’t guarantee the project will be completed by that time, the township has drawn up an aquatics schedule that can work at both the existing pool and the new facility.

The dehumidifying unit was shut down following a series of noise complaints from residents living near the Snyder Avenue recreation complex. The original plan to replace a motor and fan blades was scrapped in favour of replacing the entire unit following an inspection by the project’s mechanical consultant, facilities manager Brian Detzler said in an interview.

Because the township is already promoting its fall aquatics schedule, the revised timetable will be used even if the work is completed prior to the Sept. 14 start of the next season, explained aquatic supervisor Dave Ruetz.

“We’re running a schedule that will work in both facilities,” he said, noting the township will stand by its commitment to not run the dehumidifier until the noise issue is solved.

“Waiting is the right thing to do. We need to deal with it before we move into the new pool.”

While optimistic the work will be completed in time to allow the move to continue as scheduled, Ruetz is prepared to continue at the old pool, then make the jump as soon as the new pools are ready.

Detzler, the project manager for the new WMC, is also optimistic about the last-minute change.

“We’re getting a little tight on the timeline as far as the switch-out of the dehumidification unit … but we’ll make it if the delivery date works out.”

One thing that will not be delayed is the official opening ceremony for Woolwich Memorial Centre. That event is set for Sept. 12, and will feature a community BBQ, tours of the new complex and a dance.

A noon-hour barbeque will offer free food, music and entertainment for the kids, including jugglers and magicians. That will be followed by the official ceremonies, then tours of the facility. In the evening, a dance starts at 7 p.m., aimed at families. At 9 p.m., the festivities become a licensed event.

Everything is free of charge, as the township gives something back to the community, which raised more than $5 million for a series of recreation facilities, including the WMC and community centres in Breslau and Maryhill, said Coun. Ruby Weber, who has been involved with fundraising efforts since day-one.

“The delay may affect the opening of the pool, but there’s been no suggestion about moving the opening date,” she said this week.

Ideally, the pools will be filled and operational in time for the tours, she added.

Current delivery date information has the work on the pool dehumidification unit scheduled for the fourth week of August.

The twin arenas at the complex, meanwhile, are ready to go, with ice preparations set to get underway shortly so the facility is ready to be put into use Aug. 24.

In a letter circulated to neighbours, addressing the noise issue and upcoming work at the site, the township noted it will soon begin work on the parking lot to replace the demolished Elmira Arena.

Simultaneously with that project, the parking lot area along Park Avenue backing on to lots on the north end of Sugar King Drive will be enhanced with improved grading to assist in storm water control, the aligning of the berm backing on to the Sugar King properties at the north end to facilitate adequate drainage of rear yards and the extension of the berm along the Park Avenue frontage. That work should be completed by late September.

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