Visitors remarked on how much brighter the W.C Blair pool feels after renovations that installed white ceiling sound deflectors as part of a re-do of the 1986-era facility. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Photos: W.C. Blair pool is back, and it was missed

Swimmers give the renovations at the Langley facility a thumbs-up

“The lockers still have that new-car smell,” Kathleen Pearl said, laughing.

Pearl had lined up with more than a dozen other swimmers at the W.C. Blair Recreation Centre at 22200 Fraser Highway Sunday morning before it re-opened at 6:30 a.m.

They were the first swimmers in the pool since the 1986-era Murrayville facility was closed for extensive renovations last year.

READ MORE: Pool renovations completed

Pearl was especially pleased by the new easier-to-use entrance steps that replaced a portable set of stairs for people with mobility issues to use when entering the pool.

“They’ve done a phenomenal job,” Pearl said.

A sign outside the centre Sunday morning said “we’re baaack.”

There are a number of new features, among them a climbing wall over the deep end of the pool, a small indoor “water table” for children to play on, an expanded family changing room and a reconfigured parking lot.

Programs were set to resume and the fitness facilities were open on Sunday.

Bonnie Stewart was one of several swimmers to remark on how much brighter the pool seemed with its lighter tiles. and white ceiling with new sound baffles that do a better job of softening the echoes.

“It’s so beautiful,” Stewart said.

Candiss Brown was just glad to have her regular pool available again.

During the shutdown, people were being directed to other pools by the Township, but Brown found that there was no real substitute for her preferred swimming spot.

“I tried Walnut Grove (pool), but it’s just too busy,” Brown said.

The water is also cooler in the Walnut Grove pool compared to W.C. Blair, something several swimmers referred to Sunday while the Times was visiting.

There are still a few final touches remaining.

There are temporary plywood wall dividers in some of the new privacy cubicles, and other behind-the-scene work is continuing, but the pool and most amenities are ready for use and it was important to open as soon as possible, said community recreation manager Lesley Visser.

“We had lots of people calling, asking ‘when are you opening?’ she said.

The re-opening was originally scheduled for January, but had to be delayed when unexpected problems were encountered by work crews.

READ MORE: Blair pool upgrades delayed

According to a memo to council, “significant issues were encountered” when demolition crews took down the walls and concrete slabs in the facility, which was built more than 30 years ago.

Among other things, concrete slabs that were supposed to be a foot thick turned out to be three feet thick, along with “failing and deteriorating pool and sanitary piping, and failing pool features” which required additional work, a report to council stated.

“These changes were needed to ensure the upgrades are in compliance with all the applicable regulations and provide a safe facility for public use.”

The pool has been closed to the public since Sept. 12 of last year.

It is the oldest indoor pool in the Township, having first opened its doors on Dec. 12, 1986.

There are new operating hours at the reopened W.C. Blair, with the facility closing half an hour earlier throughout the week.

The new schedule: Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

To learn more or to sign up, visit tol.ca/wcblair.

Residents may also contact the Township of Langley’s Parks and Recreation Division at 604-533-6170 or by email at prinfo@tol.ca.

 

Tanya Lightbody and daughter Danielle Hagyard were among the first to swim in the W.C. Blair pool when the renovated facility re-opened Sunday morning. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Candiss Brown enjoys a soak in the renovated W.C. Blair pool. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Just Posted

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

VIDEO: Giants draw first blood in Western Conference championships

In Game 1 of the best-of-seven series between Vancouver and Spokane, the G-Men emerged triumphant

VIDEO: Multiple people injured after Aldergrove deck collapses during celebration

UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Championship action kicks off tonight at Langley Events Centre

Giants prepare to do battle in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Friday on home ice

PHOTOS: Langley RCMP volunteers ‘represent the best of our community’

Dozens were honoured Thursday night during the 27th annual Langley RCMP’s volunteer dinner

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Rats available for adoption in Vancouver

In a social media post the City of Vancouver says you can adopt a rat for $5.

Most Read