Orangeville commits $4.33 million to replacing pool liners with stainless steel at Alder

July 22, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Swimmers throughout Orangeville have lots to look forward to.

Town Council voted 7-0 to replace lap and leisure pool liners with stainless steel sides at the Alder Street Recreation Centre. The project’s estimated cost is $4.33 million, with an expected completion by the end of 2021.

The key benefit of putting in stainless steel walls is reduced operating costs, not only on energy usage but for maintenance as well.

“We’ve actually…done repairs on the existing [vinyl] pool three times already in the last 15 years,” said Ray Osmond, general manager of community services at the Town. “These are major changes, these are shutdowns, big shutdowns, long shutdowns. In the case of stainless steel, you won’t see a shutdown.”

“The other thing about this you need to remember is that the filtration system and the air handling system wrapped around his pool is designed to not use a lot of water and not use too much chemicals and not have to be filtered as much,” he added, noting that it’s also better for air quality.

As well, backwashing would only have to happen once every 75 days while the current one requires a backwash every five to seven days.

Osmond noted that one of the key benefits of the stainless steel pool is that it last for 25 to 30 years, while a vinyl (PVC) pool, which is at the Alder Street Arena currently, might last 10 to 15 years. The extended delays for repairs also cause significant disruptions for swim teams and recreational users throughout Orangeville.

“If you had to do any changes to a stainless steel pool, you could lower the level of the pool take out the section that needs to be changed and insert it and move on,” Osmond explained.

Meanwhile, the pools will keep their existing vinyl floors, but that isn’t expected to cause any problems. For the leisure pool it will provide a softer surface for therapeutic programming.

When looking at the price tag for the replacement of the current pool liner, Osmond noted that there’s an opportunity to secure grant funding from higher levels of government because the stainless-steel pool is energy efficient, along with other components of the Alder Street Recreation Centre.

“We’ve taken this project and put it into an application to government and it’s valued at somewhere between $7.5 million with government putting in $4.7 million if we were to be successful in getting the application,” he said.

When looking at the large price tag for the project, Osmond noted that the price of steel has more than doubled in price since the time that the Town did its original cost estimates for the project. It went from $2.10 a pound to $4.30 a pound.

Labour costs have also increased among all three bidders looking to secure the tender for the project.

“What we’re also been told is that we if we wait much longer, we’re probably going to see another increase, and that’s just the market pushing things at us,” Osmond explained.

Coun. Grant Peters lauded Osmond’s report to Council regarding the pool liner and commented on the costs.

“No one likes to see the changes in the market, but we’re seeing it everywhere, not just in pools, in construction, in labor and materials,” he noted. “With all that said, I believe the durability and long-term positive impacts of the stainless steel solution are what we should be moving forward with,”

Meanwhile, Coun. Todd Taylor also noted that the cost for this pool liner replacement is quite high, but he’s in support of it.

“I don’t want to swim upstream or anything like that and I certainly don’t want to tread water on this project but I guess when there’s something so big like this, you just feel like you should own up and tell the public how you’re going to vote,” he said. “$4.4 million is really hard to digest, but at the end of the day, it needs to be done. It needs to be done properly. If you talk to the Otter Swim Team, they’ve had so many complaints over the last couple of years.”

The completion date for the pool liner replacement is by the end of December, however Osmond noted that they’re hoping to have everything completed a little bit ahead of that deadline.

Orangeville Council’s next meeting is slated for August 9.

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