Council votes down pool locker replacement

·2 min read

The metal swimming pool lockers at the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre are staying where they are for at least another year.

Administration recommended Council replace the lockers that are showing signs of deterioration with rust and sharp edges. Instead, Council placed the $100,000 previously allocated to the pool locker replacement in the recreation centre construction reserve.

“Like many of your families, ours swim often. My son is in lessons. Obviously the lockers, a lot of them aren’t in great shape but they’re still usable. I have some concerns with spending $100,000 [on locker replacement] with the potential of moving a new facility forward or working to,” said Coun. Ryan Maguhn.

Council is still looking at funding an updated recreation facility or potentially building a new facility, he explained. If replaced, the new pool lockers could be transferred to an alternate facility in need or future recreation facility, according to administration.

“Building change rooms around existing lockers and the movement of them and the cost fof installation. I know they’re old. Prior to COVID-19, I used that rec centre a ton and used those lockers a ton, they’re not pretty, but it’s a $100,000 that I don’t want to go to something that isn’t necessary right now based on my opinion and conversation with some citizens,” Coun. Dewly Nelson said.

The facility was closed much of last year with very low capacity and usage when it was open, Nelson noted. Councillors were on the same page, stating that more information on the future of the rec facility was needed.

“It just drives home that point that we’ve discussed previously, that the most important thing moving forward at least with this council and the next, is securing the funding necessary to make the [rec centre] project happen,” said Maguhn.

If Council decides to move ahead with locker replacement next year, they can easily take back and utilize the $100,000 from the recreation centre construction reserve, confirmed administration.

There are currently 154 metal lockers, 77 per area, at the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre from the original construction of the facility in 1980.

The deterioration from high usage is creating higher maintenance issues and poses a potential safety risk to patrons from cuts to skin or clothing, according to administration.

Town staff can continue to maintain the lockers and cut off any edges that may pose a risk, said Ewa Arsenault, maintenance services supervisor.

Masha Scheele, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hinton Voice