Aquatic centre project progressing swimmingly

More than $2.7 million has been raised for the facility that’s expected to cost $6.5 million and donations continue to pour in

Work on the new Kindersley aquatic centre continues with the goal of having the project complete by the fall of 2018. More than $2.7 million has been raised for the facility that is expected to cost $6.5 million.

Kenneth Brown
of The Clarion

The new Kindersley Aquatic Centre project officials are pleased with how the building has been progressing despite delays.

Construction of the new aquatic centre began in the middle of 2017 and, according to officials, their goal is to complete the project by the fall of 2018. Two companies including a local contractor have joined forces to build the facility at a cost of approximately $6.5 million.

The two companies working on the facility are Pro-Bilt Structures Ltd. of Kindersley and Western Recreation & Development Inc. Pro-Bilt Structures is working on the building, and its partner is working on components that relate to the centre’s aquatic features.

Mayor Rod Perkins said two council members sit on a committee with project officials. The two councillors are Gary Becker and Dean Galbraith. Tim Hanna, the town’s director of community services, also sits on the committee.

Perkins said the officials meet once every couple of weeks and all project updates flow from the committee to other town officials. He said a lot of work still needs to be done before the town starts operating the facility but the project is well underway.

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“It’s an ongoing process, but it is going in the right direction,” he said. Town officials are happy despite taking a month longer than planned to finalize a contract with the builders. “I would rather be a month further ahead, but we’re doing fine.”

The mayor said Wayne Gibson, the town’s manager of communications, is working to help keep track of the fundraising efforts. Perkins said he, Becker, Galbraith and Deputy Mayor Ken Francis have been doing a lot of the legwork on the town’s fundraising efforts.

He said some people are approaching the town on their own to make unsolicited contributions.

The town is also receiving interest from corporate donors that want to donate as much as $150,000 spread out over six years, Perkins explained. He said donations have been coming in steadily, and just when things might start to slow down, another large contribution is made. The thermometer showing the fundraising totals will soon be updated.

“We’re going to move the thermometer up a little closer to where it actually should be here in the next week,” Perkins said. Council is pleased with the support that will soon be fully reflected on the town’s thermometer near the job site.

He noted that the town has already hired a manager for the aquatic centre. He said the new manager will start sometime early in the new year. She will start the preliminary work to recruit and train lifeguards to be ready to operate the facility when it’s done.

Jeff Meyer, project lead for Pro-Bilt Structures, said a period of frigid temperatures at the start of November delayed the project for a little while. But the work is coming along nicely outside of brief delays for weather and waiting for materials.

He said he would like to be about a month further ahead but he is satisfied with where things sit with the project. Meyer said he wanted to have the structure fully enclosed by the early part of January, but he believes it will be fully enclosed by early February.

“All the structure is up and the roof panels (arrived) on Monday,” he said in an interview last week, referring to this past Monday. “They will start going up.”

Meyer said workers will start to put up special conforming panels to start building the walls. The special panels will make up the bottom eight feet of the walls, he explained. He said the contractors will keep on moving the project forward.

He noted that Western Recreation & Development has the junior Olympic-sized pool nearly in place. The walls are in place right up to deck height, so the pool only needs its floor and deck, he said. According to Meyer, the contractor will start to install plumbing for the pool between Christmas and the new year.

Meyer said he’s not behind schedule with respect to its future occupancy after completion, but he “had some pretty aggressive goals” that he wanted to meet with respect to construction. The contractors are making good use of their time, he added.

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