Leak prompts closure of Inuvik pool as Midnight Sun Complex set for repairs

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Leak prompts closure of Inuvik pool as Midnight Sun Complex set for repairs

After being closed for about three weeks last month, the pool in Inuvik, N.W.T. is now shut down until further notice due to a leak.

The pool, which is located at the Midnight Sun Complex, was previously closed while an issue regarding the water temperatures was fixed.

During that closure, the pool underwent a pressure test, which ended up making an unknown issue worse, according to Grant Hood, Inuvik's senior administrative officer.

"Now what we've done is we've drained the pool, inspected it all," said Hood. "But we felt we don't want to get into a cycle of opening and closing." 

The Midnight Sun Complex is considered a jewel in the community, as it also offers skating, curling, a workout room and more.

With the pool closed, the swim team is unable to train and Hood said people paying for swimming lessons have been given a refund.

The next step for the town is to have a company come in to perform ground-penetrating radar on the bottom of the pool.

Hood said the town believes the foundation is solid, but wants to confirm this before making any other decisions.

"It could be as [quick] as fixing the issues that are happening right now or it could be, depending on some options, closing for three to four months," said Hood.

"The pool is getting 13, 14 years old. Certain things are getting to the end of their life cycle anyways so it's a good time ... to take a look at a few things."

Complex construction approved

The pool isn't the only thing that needs to be fixed at the complex.

On Wednesday night, town councillors voted to approve construction that will soon begin on the entrance of the building.

One of the main issues they hope to fix is the slope of the stairs, where one person was seriously injured late last year.

Coun. Joe Lavoie wanted to wait to approve the work — which will cost the town more than $200,000 — until they had a better idea of how much money would be needed to fix the pool.

"I just want to be on the more cautious side anyways before we go forward with the exterior work," said Lavoie.

"I'm just fearful that the pool could be a huge expense, at much greater than what we anticipated."

Coun. Clarence Wood said that, although he agreed with some of Lavoie's points, he didn't want to delay the work on the exterior of the complex because it's much needed for safety reasons.

The work on the entrance was approved to go forward by a vote of five to one.

Eric Whitworth, director of finance for the town, assured councillors there is enough money in the budget to cover both repairs in a worst-case scenario.

However, as the weather warms up in town, residents may have to go elsewhere to cool off this summer.