City Welcomes Residents Back to the Canada Games Aquatic Centre with Gradual Reopening

City Welcomes Residents Back to the Canada Games Aquatic Centre with Gradual Reopening

The renovations are almost complete at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre (CGAC) at the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC), and the City of Kamloops is excited to start welcoming swimmers back to the pool. On Saturday, January 2, the pool will reopen for public swim lessons and competitive swim clubs before opening to the general public on Friday, January 15. 

“We’re excited to get everyone back into the pool as soon as possible, but safety during the pandemic is our top priority,” said Andrew Smeaton, the City’s Aquatics Supervisor. “The updates are impressive and change how people move through the space, as do the COVID safety protocols. By starting with our public swim lessons and aquatic clubs only, we can ensure these groups get oriented to new procedures, and then we will be ready for drop-in users and the general public on January 15.” 

Reopening and COVID-19

Barring any new restrictions from Public Health Officials, the general public will be welcomed to the CGAC starting on Friday, January 15. Due to COVID-19, residents can expect protocols to be in place that are designed to keep public and staff as safe as possible and minimize transmission. 

  • Masks are required within the TCC and in all dry areas of the pool building up to when you are entering the pool (we recommend you leave your mask with your towel on the pool deck). 
  • The traffic flow within the change rooms has been delineated for one-way traffic flow. Please maintain a minimum of 2 m/6 ft. distance from other people.
  • All swimmers in lessons up to and including Swim Kids 3 (programs in the leisure pool) must be accompanied in the water by a responsible person who is at least 16 years of age. 
  • The sauna and steam room will remain closed until they are approved to open by Public Health Officials. 
  • The whirlpool has a maximum capacity of 3.
  • Leisure and public swims have a maximum capacity of 50.
  • Lap swims will be limited depending on the availability of lanes. The maximum capacity for lap swims is 6 people per double lane up to a total of 48 patrons when the whole main pool is open. 
  • Separate programs will not be scheduled concurrently. For example, there will be no public swim scheduled during swim lessons. 
  • Leisure swims and public swims are limited to 50 people, and swimmers must register in advance. 

The first public swim is scheduled for Friday, January 15, 7:30–9:30 pm, and registration is required. Swimmers will be able to register online at Kamloops.ca/PerfectMind as of 9:00 am on January 9 and one week in advance of each subsequent public swim. Swim schedules are available at Kamloops.ca/Swim and are subject to change based on Public Health orders.
 
Effective January 2, 2021, the TCC hours will be expanded and Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre will return to regular hours. 

  Monday–Friday Saturday–Sunday
Tournament Capital Centre 5:30 am–9:30 pm 7:00 am–8:00 pm
Westsyde Pool & Fitness Centre 5:30–11:00 am, 3:00–9:00 pm 9:30 am–4:30 pm

What’s New at the Pool?

While many of the improvements will not be noticed by the average visitor, such as mechanical, heating, and electrical system updates, pool users will notice significant updates to the change rooms and pool amenities. 

The new change rooms have been designed to improve accessibility, inclusiveness, safety, and security and to modernize how people access the facility. New individual-use change rooms provide all pool users with their own private space to change and shower, with shared access to the common areas leading to the pool deck. There are now 20 individual change rooms, 11 family rooms, and 3 fully accessible change rooms with adjustable beds, overhead lifts, and wheelchair-accessible showers and sinks. 

On the pool deck, swimmers will notice the sauna and steam room have been relocated to accommodate a new spray park—complete with water cannons, a splash pad, and other water features—and a large whirlpool with an accessible lift to provide direct access for people in wheelchairs.  

“Accessibility and inclusivity are important themes to the improvements we’ve made,” said Smeaton. “From the change room renovations to the accessible lifts and the new spectator entrance, people of all abilities now have improved access to aquatics in our community.”

The Infrastructure Improvement Project

The CGAC Infrastructure Improvement Project began in May 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic closed the facility to the public. The main driver of this project was to replace several critical infrastructure components that were at or near the end of their expected design life while revitalizing and modernizing the space to meet current and future design standards. 

Project scope:

  • replacing the complete building envelope (roof and walls)
  • replacing the mechanical; electrical system; and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • replacing the lighting with LED fixtures
  • replacing the boilers with energy-efficient options
  • repainting and/or updating the interior pool walls and ceiling offices, and other spaces
  • constructing a new east entrance to create improved accessibility and security
  • constructing a new accessible washroom on the mezzanine
  • installing new retractable bleachers to improve accessibility on the mezzanine (to be installed at a later date)
  • replacing and modernizing the change rooms and common areas to improve inclusivity, accessibility, safety, and security
  • replacing the hot tub, sauna, and steam room with more energy-efficient options
  • constructing a new spray park 
  • replacing or repairing/repainting leisure pool amenities 
  • installing a public address system, improving public safety communications
  • installing a new score clock (to be installed at a later date)

The updates will extend the life of the pool building and critical operating components and have improved the facility’s overall sustainability, accessibility, and functionality. The project budget was $13.491 million and has been partially funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – CleanBC Communities Fund Program by the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia to support the energy-efficiency upgrades.

If you have questions about the CGAC Infrastructure Improvement Project, the reopening, or COVID-19 protocols, please visit LetsTalk.Kamloops.ca/CGAC.


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