Aquatic Centre still in good shape, says director

Aquatic Centre still in good shape, says director

City of Port Alberni still has time to look for a replacement

New director of parks, recreation and heritage Willa Thorpe was in council chambers on Monday, Sept. 18 to discuss the state of the Echo Aquatic Centre after its yearly shutdown.

She said that considering the age of the pool, it is in remarkable shape.

“Staff have done a tremendous job,” she said. “I’ve had the opportunity to tour many facilities around Canada, and it is nothing short of amazing to see the wonderful condition the facility is in.”

It’s a challenge, she added, any time you’re working with a 50-year-old basin, as there will be further deterioration every year. “When you go in there today, it looks wonderful,” she said. “To see how quickly we were able to balance and heat the space is a good indicator that the plumbing is in great shape.”

Councillor Jack McLeman asked what the timeline is like for the aquatic centre, and how long it will be before the city needs a new one.

READ: More discussion needed for replacing Echo Aquatic Centre

Thorpe admitted that the question is a tricky one.

“We’ve started the process on our end to look at exploring a replacement,” she confirmed. “We’re fortunate that we’re in a situation where we’re still ahead of the curve and we’re not coming to you saying that this is the last year and we’d better do something awful quick. Our timing is good to start the conversation. We’re not in complete dire straits, but every year it’s more of a push, for sure.”