If you were hoping to go for a swim, you may have to wait a couple of weeks longer than expected, as an unexpected $20,000 to $30,000 repair popped up during the Aquatic Centre's annual maintenance period.

Town of Strathmore's Manager of Recreation and Culture Mark Pretzlaff said the Aquatic Centre's reopening will be delayed until approximately the end of October or early November. The initial plan was to reopen in early October.

Pretzlaff explained the pool's heat exchanger has been compromised, which is an essential part of a pool that heats the water using hot water from the boiler. Without this, the pool would be around 5 °C, making it unusable. The current heat exchanger is a 20 year old shell and tube model, and the age of the exchanger means a quick fix isn't an option.

Ordering a new shell and tube model could take up to 50 weeks to ship and install, so a frame and plate heat exchanger will be ordered instead, which should only take around 2-4 weeks to ship and install. The frame and plate would also make future maintenance easier, and is equally as effective as a shell and tube model and also the same price.

The heat exchanger costs $20 000, and an additional $10 000 is being allocated for installation fees. Pretzlaff said there were sauna repairs earlier which came in significantly below budget, so some of the savings there could be used for this needed repair.

If everything goes well, it's possible the programs the pool offers wouldn't be affected too much, "If we get the part ordered tomorrow and we hit the 2 week window, we'd still be able to offer almost a full capacity of schoolboard lessons to the community," Pretzlaff said.

He added swimming lessons would be impacted this year, but not just because of the heat exchanger.

"Swimming lessons will be a little bit different than they were in past years due to some lifeguard staffing challenges that we've faced, but we anticipate that would also be rectified as the year progresses."

Town Council held a special meeting yesterday to discuss this, and $30 000 has been reallocated from the 2022 Capital Budget for the purchase and installation of a new heat exchanger.

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