Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

At its March 25 regular meeting, Town of Peace River council received an update on the Peace Regional Pool Hot Tub Replacement Project that’s been ongoing for the last year.

It was decided to complete a condition assessment on the pool before investing in such extensive repairs.

Consultants conducted a site visit in January to assess existing structure and foundations, the building envelope and both interior and exterior conditions, electrical and automation systems, mechanical systems, and building life safety systems.

“Council wanted to know the state of the entire pool building and its components before tendering the two large items,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.

“Both the hot tub and the slide have been unavailable for almost two years and council wanted to know if it was worthwhile to fix these items in terms of the condition of the rest of the building,” she adds. “If the building is in good shape and has a reasonable life span, then it would be prudent to fix these components.”

Manzer adds if the building was not in good shape, then other considerations would have to be made in regard to the future plans for the pool.

Administration has indicated the final report from the consultants should be available within the next month.

In addition, council is waiting for Alberta Health Services’ approval before proceeding with replacement of the hot tub. Manzer says AHS needs to approve the design because the hot tub is located in a public facility.

She explains when infrastructure projects are completed, often unexpected things are discovered that need to be addressed.

This sometimes extends project anticipated completion dates and alters the project scope.

“That is what happened with the hot tub when the hot tub project was started, the contractors stopped and informed the Town that more work than anticipated was required,” Manzer says.

“This led to discussions on costs and involved new plans to accommodate the new information on the condition of the hot tub and related elements in the pool that run the hot tub including pipes and chemical processes.”

Manzer says council wanted a better estimate of the entire hot tub project costs before approving a tendering process. This also posed the question as to what the lifespan of the pool and its components is and whether the cost would be justified.

“That report is being finalized for presentation to council and AHS needs to approve the hot tub design,” she says.

“If the pool report is satisfactory, council will consider it and make decisions on the hot tub.”

Once the consultant’s report is reviewed by administration and council, and AHS approves the design suggested, the project will then be ready to go to tender.

“Tenders would be considered and awarded, and a timeline developed with the successful tender,” explains Manzer.

“So once AHS approves the hot tub design, it will be a little easier to predict the timeline for the project completion. Many are looking forward to the hot tub project and others are wondering about the slide which council has delayed considering until the hot tub decision (is reached),” she concludes.