Officials turn sod for aquatic centre project

It is hoped the $6.35-million indoor facility will be in operation in the summer of 2018

Kenneth Brown
of The Clarion

The Town of Kindersley and the design builder for the town’s new aquatic centre have held a sod turning ceremony to signify the start of the construction process.

Representatives of several groups were on hand near the site of the old Kindersley Aquatic Centre on July 5 for the sod turning ceremony. A large contingent of officials from the town were in attendance, along with other officials, volunteers and community members.

Officials from the Town of Kindersley and the design builder consortium for the new aquatic centre gather on July 5 for a sod turning ceremony at the future site of the facility. In the photo are (from l-r) councillors Shaun Henry, Randy Ervine, Dean Galbraith and Gary Becker, Mayor Rod Perkins, Jeff Meyer, the project manager for Pro-Bilt Structures Ltd., and Brett Dyregrov, the project manager and president of Western Recreation and Development Inc.

Mayor Rod Perkins was joined at the sod turning by councillors Gary Becker, Dean Galbraith, Shaun Henry and Randy Irvine. Several members of the town’s administration were also at the event to formally mark the project.

Representatives of Pro-Bilt Structures Ltd., Western Recreation & Development Inc., Big Dippers pool fundraising committee and Kindersley & District Co-operative Ltd. joined the town officials for the occasion. Perkins welcomed people to the event and thanked them for attending.

The mayor said it was a beautiful day for the event and officials had gathered to turn the sod at the future site of the new Kindersley Aquatics Centre, an indoor facility that is hoped to be in operation in the summer of 2018.

He noted that the project is long overdue and town officials are “pretty happy that it’s going to happen.” Perkins said fence has been erected around the site and machines are running, and the activity is a good sign for the community.

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The mayor shared a message of thanks with several groups. He said he had to start by thanking the six councillors who helped to steer the project because the current council made it a goal to get a new pool built, a commitment made during the 2016 general election. Perkins then thanked Bernie Morton, the town’s chief administrative officer, and his staff for helping council with the guidance to get through the process.

Perkins said the process is more complicated than a person might think. He noted that even for people who are used to making business decisions, making decisions for the public sector has its unique challenges.

Council members had to exercise patience throughout the process, which the mayor admitted is not always easy, and they were able to make things happen to get the project underway. The community is embarking on a large project that has changed over time.

“As you well know, this is a huge undertaking for Kindersley,” Perkins said, recognizing that what started out as a project to build an outdoor pool has turned into a project to build what will be a memorable facility for the community.

The mayor said he wanted to thank officials from Pro-Bilt Structures and Western Recreation & Development, the consortium of companies awarded the project, for working with the town on the project and for working within the town’s guidelines. The facility is estimated to cost $6.35 million.

Perkins provided details for how the town plans to pay for the project. He said the town understood its chances to get a government grant would be slim, so council moved ahead based on having faith in the community to support the project.

He mentioned the town’s fundraising and sponsorship campaign. The Fill the Pool Campaign has kicked off and a list of sponsorship opportunities is now available for individuals and businesses to see.

The mayor said he wanted to recognize the efforts of the Big Dippers committee, a group of volunteers that has been raising money for the pool for about three years. The committee has raised in excess of $100,000 from a series of events culminating with the Zest of the West fundraiser in April. Perkins added that the town’s fundraising team will continue working to achieve its goals for the project.

Jeff Meyer, the project manager for Pro-Bilt Structures, said in an interview that the company is just getting set up at the site. He said an asbestos abatement is needed before crews are able to demolish the existing aquatic centre.

He noted that the asbestos abatement is scheduled to start this week and it is expected to take two to three weeks to complete. The asbestos is in the walls of the older portion of the building, so the abatement is necessary. The mechanical room behind the existing structure is not being demolished.

The project manager said the company will start with demolition after the structure gets a clean bill of health from the abatement. Meyer said crews might be able to start removing the pool basin during the abatement.

He said the company has pulled down fence, removed a couple of trees and cleaned up the site to prepare for the project. A geotechnical study has been completed to prepare for the new foundation for the facility. The abatement and demolition processes could take up to eight weeks to complete, so the company anticipates starting construction on the new facility near the end of August.

Meyer said the company built the town’s waste and recycle centre 15 years ago as it was just starting up, a good project for the company, and now the company is helping to build a new aquatic centre 15 years later. He is excited to be part of the project, but also to use the facility.

“We’re excited about it,” Meyer, a resident of Kindersley, said about the project, adding that he and members of his team have been taking their children to other communities to swim. “We’re excited to build it, but we’re excited to use it.”

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© Kindersley Clarion

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