There’s no getting out of the deep end now.
Any lack of excitement would just be shallow.
Groan-inducing puns aside, there’s plenty of reason to feel good about a long-time local project that has been nearly five years in the making.
The town of Outlook’s new swimming pool located at the grounds of the Jim Kook Rec Plex has reached a major turning point, as testing began on the facility last week.
Rick Pederson, the pool’s project manager working on behalf of the Town of Outlook, gave this reporter a walkthrough tour of the site on Tuesday, October 2 as the pool was being filled with water. The filling began on Monday and resumed the following day, with estimates of 14-15 hours to completely fill it.
“They’re running everything right now, like all the little water features,” said Rick. “They’re just looking for leaks and making sure the pumps are working properly, making sure they’re stopping and starting.”
Pederson is quite happy with how things are going on the pool.
“Things are coming along really good,” he said. “The paving stone work is all done, just some touch-ups to do on it, and Western Rec is almost done. There’s just some small fine work to do like a few things on the pool.”
Work on the pool facility has really come together in the last few months, and the location is quite the sight to take in when one enters. It leaves the long-time pool in the regional park in the dust as far as size and scope goes, with the new face of Outlook’s aquatic recreation industry clocking in at 82 feet long and 37.5 feet wide with a maximum depth of 2.9 meters, totalling 6300 square feet of pool surface and requiring 635,000 liters of water to fill it.
Features of the facility aside from the main swimming pool include two water slides, as well as an eye-catching frog one for smaller children. On top of that, there’s a toddler pool, vortex pool, and even an ‘umbrella’ type feature that drops water down, almost something you’d see in a spray park.
The pool also has on-demand hot water heaters, and the drinking fountain has a chiller on it so it reaches cold temperatures instantly, measures that will help save water.
As well, the features don’t even appear to stop inside the fence of the location, as Pederson noted how they’d like to utilize the space just to the south.
“Outside the fence where we have all these trees, there are plans to put picnic tables and things in there,” he said. “If someone comes and their kids have swimming lessons and maybe they want to have lunch to kill time, they can use the tables back there, because obviously you can’t have food on the deck.”
Plans in the immediate future include building the tower for the water slides, which Rick says is expected in the next couple of weeks. Right now, work continues on the change room building, and Pederson expects the exterior work to be wrapped up soon so that when the colder weather arrives, there’s no real stoppage and crews can continue the interior work.
“I want to concentrate on getting everything done on this side and getting this building closed up so that when the winter hits, we can at least put heaters in there and work though the winter,” he said.
The handicap-accessible change room building, measuring in at approximately 30 X 60 feet, will house men’s and women’s change rooms, a family change room, a First Aid room, admissions, and staff will have their own area to work in. Speakers will also be installed on the outside of the building so that staff can make announcements.
As far as security measures go, the barbed-wire fence currently in place will remain at the facility, and Pederson said there will also be tower lights installed which will be lit up at night.
Aside from Western Recreation being the firm that has constructed the actual pool, the facility has had a major focus on going completely local for the rest of its needs, with electrical being supplied by Riverbend Industries, the plumbing all being done by Rafoss Plumbing & Heating, the landscaping provided by Broderick Garden Centre, and the concrete foundation and sidewalks all done by DLN Construction.
“We tried to spread it out as much as we can by using all local suppliers and contractors,” said Rick. “Like Broderick Garden Centre, which has done all the landscaping on-site, all the paving and stone work. They did a really good job with it and the stones turned out really nice.”
Pederson says things are running smooth and that the pool’s intended opening of next spring shouldn’t be any problem at all. In the meantime, he says that a possible public open house to show people the progress on the facility, which has been talked about recently, is something that could definitely be accommodated.
Meanwhile, as work continues on the project, the pool’s fundraising committee recently announced a date for a charity auction fundraiser to benefit the facility, set to take place at the Outlook Civic Centre on April 5, 2019.