The indoor pool at the Steinbach Aquatic Centre will be closed for renovations for much of this coming summer.

On Tuesday evening, Steinbach City Council awarded a tender for the renovation work to Earnst Hansch Construction Ltd. for approximately $1.3M. According to Steinbach’s Chief Administrative Officer Troy Warkentin, when you take into account the engineering, design, and contingencies, they are budgeting for a total cost of just under $1.5M.

Mayor Earl Funk says the city has been planning and saving for this major pool renovation for years.

"The pool is now 18-years-old and some items are in need of repair, painting, some ventilation, acoustical panels, some lighting needs to be replaced, it is a highly corrosive environment with the chlorine so it is time for some repair. The funds are there, we have the rec reserve so we are not borrowing any money and it does not have a tax impact."

While renovations are being completed, the indoor pool will be closed but Funk says the outdoor pool and splash pad will remain open at 50% capacity for public swimming and lessons.

Councillor Michael Zwaagstra made to motion to approve the tender. He notes the original plan was to do these renovations in 2021 but with the restrictions currently in place due to COVID-19, it makes more sense to jump on them this year.

"This way we can have the repairs done at a time when the pool cannot be at full capacity. Under phase 2 we can only have it at 50% capacity and we don’t know how long it is going to remain like that. Rather than have only limited access to the pool this summer and then no access to the pool next summer, it makes sense to do these repairs now and get it done and out of the way so that we have full access to the pool come September and we do not have to shut down the pool next summer."

Warkentin says work will begin shortly.

"The expectation is that project work would start next week and with a completion time of about 12 weeks that would bring the project to August 31st. To allow a safety factor, administration would project that an additional two weeks be added so, therefore, the pool could be open as soon as September 14th."