Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 29, 2012 - 2:49 pm

Iqaluit closes pool indefinitely for repair work on leaks

City will issue refunds to residents who paid for swimming programs

DAVID MURPHY
Iqaluit recreational director Amy Elgersma points to the cracks in Iqaluit's municipal pool that will require extensive repairs to fix. (FILE PHOTO)
Iqaluit recreational director Amy Elgersma points to the cracks in Iqaluit's municipal pool that will require extensive repairs to fix. (FILE PHOTO)

Iqaluit’s swimming pool at Astro Hill will stay dry for the rest of the season.

The swimming pool has been out-of-commission since early October, when major cracks in the pool’s concrete basin forced the city to close it for repairs.

Now, a report has come back from Concentric Associates International that has forced Iqaluit’s recreation director, Amy Elgersma, to close the pool’s doors indefinitely.

“We have some info about what needs to be done, and [the needed] repairs are quite extensive,” Elgersma said.

So, the pool is closing at least for its entire “session,” which extends from October until January.

“Everyone is pretty disappointed that the pool won’t be open and that lessons are cancelled this season. And we’ll do our best to inform the public as to what’s happening,” Elgersma said.

A specific cost to fix the pool is not yet available, Elgersma said, adding she will provide an update at the next city council meeting, to be held Nov. 6.

However, all those who signed up for swimming programs or lessons will get their money back. Reimbursements will be mailed out either this week or next, Elgersma said.

But this means that the city’s recreation department will also lose out on thousands of dollars in revenue.

“We count on [the money] as part of our revenue stream. But the most disappointing thing is people counting on taking the lessons and the kids who really enjoy these lessons and the programs they offer,” Elgersma said.

Victoria Perron, the head of the breakers swimming club, said she’s “extremely disappointed and upset” at the closure, which will have an impact on young developing swimmers in Iqaluit.

“It’s really important to train on a swim team, you need that regularity,” Perron said, adding many parents are frustrated that the pool is now closed.

But those young swimmers affected by the closure are likely to find other recreational activities.

“I know a lot of the kids on the swim team are just active in general — they’re not swimming, but they’re doing other things like badminton or hockey,” Perron said.

On Oct. 15, Iqaluit ratepayers voted to allow the city of Iqaluit to borrow up to $40-million for a new aquatic centre in a referendum.

No date has been set for construction of that recreational facility. 


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