Swimming at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre’s (ACUCC) was almost impossible due to ‘extremely cold weather’ on Monday, after snowfall and freezing temperatures swept through Aldergrove.
ACUCC Pacific Zone’s 25-metre competitive swimming pool, leisure pool, and hot tub was closed until Thursday – when aquatics were reopened at more regular hours.
“Modified pool hours are in effect… to help ensure health and safety of pool users during extreme weather,” a sign posted up at the centre read.
The closure caused Aldergrove Sea Monkeys Swim Club to relocate sessions to W.C. Blair Recreation Centre on Monday and Wednesday.
A Township spokesperson told the Aldergrove Star “during this recent and rare extreme weather event the combination of ice, snow, and very cold temperatures and windchill, and challenging road conditions caused us to modify schedules and initiate a short-term closure.”
ACUCC’s pools – as part of the Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience – rest under a large canopy, one that was added to building plans after members from the community expressed concerns regarding year-round use of the centre’s aquatic area.
A campaign was presented to Township Mayor and councillors during a 2015 meeting by Aldergrove resident and founder of Aldergrove Recreation and Pool society Joanne Nicolato.
At the time, there was concern that the Township would put a roof over the pool and leave it open to the elements, Nicolato said during her 2015 delegation with council.
“Covered is not indoor,” Nicolato pressed further.
At the time, Mayor Jack Froese said the reduced cost of the pool – being not fully indoor – allows the municipality to build a facility now, rather than wait until it finds more funds.
“Do we build something today or do we wait another 20 years?” Froese emphasized.
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Now, nearly three years later, solar panels on the pool’s canopy augment the energy supply of the facility, an addition made possible by a close to $10 million grant from the federal government in 2018.
During the winter and cold temperatures, pool water is heated using energy produced from the cooling of the ice at the adjoining arena.
In addition, the deck around the pools has heat-tracing to melt frost in the colder months and the outer wall of the main building has natural gas radiant heaters for the comfort of guardians watching their children swim.
Other nearby recreation centre pools within the Township have been open the public for those that can make the trek through the snow, although most fitness classes were cancelled, a Township spokesperson said.
READ MORE: Smaller pool approved for Aldergrove