Council approves three-month closure of Genesis Place pool
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 10:18 am
The aquatics area at Genesis Place Recreation Centre will undergo some significant changes and a three-month closure for maintenance in 2015.
The minimum age for unaccompanied minors in the pool area will rise and be implemented on July 1, 2014.
Officials at Genesis Place have raised the minimum age from seven to eight years old for unaccompanied children to be in the pool and have also implemented a supervisory ratio for adults taking multiple children to the pool.
Any child under the age of eight will have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is over the age of 14 who is in the water. The ratio guideline also specifies that one parent or guardian can only be responsible for up to four children under the age of eight.
“We looked at entrance limits and supervisory ratios throughout Canada and Alberta when making this recommendation in February,” said Greg Lockert, Genesis Place Recreation Centre manager. “The continued safety of our patrons is our first priority and we feel the new regulations better position us to deliver on our commitment to safety in our aquatics area.”
The decision to implement the new regulations was supported unanimously by council; the same could not be said about the decision regarding options for annual pass holders when the pool shuts down in August 2015.
Genesis Place’s aquatics area has been open since 2004 and is overdue for maintenance, according to Lockert, who said staff will pursue more regular maintenance in the future. More than 50,000 square feet of pool deck surface will be replaced next year, causing the pool to be closed from Aug. 1, 2015 to Nov. 1, 2015.
In that time, users will be given the option to suspend their Genesis Place annual passes.
“The climate in the pool area is humid and there’s just a lot of wear and tear on the surface from use,” said Lockert, who explained that many other facilities shut down for two to three weeks to perform annual maintenance, rather than the 12-week shutdown that Genesis Place will undertake.
Alderman Candice Kolson was not in favour of the timeline staff chose for the shutdown.
“I have kids that I take to the pool especially in the summer when they’re not in school,” said Kolson. “I don’t really like that we’re going to be shutting down during summer vacation when a lot of kids get use of the pool.”
The shutdown is projected to cost nearly $123,000 in revenue, though staff is still projecting around 91 per cent cost recovery through user fees, which were approved for an increase in 2015 (see story on page 7).
No price tag has been put on the overhaul yet, as it will be deliberated for the 2015 budget.
For annual pass holders who are regular users of the pool, they will be afforded the option to suspend their pass for the duration of the shutdown, and will have their membership extended for three months once the pool re-opens.
“Our accounting department will still pull out the monthly payments over those three months, and the users will get three free months when they decide to reactivate their pass,” said Lockert.
Deputy Mayor Ron Chapman raised concern over family pass holders and the different facilities offered within Genesis Place.
“I’m just wondering what happens if you have a family who uses Genesis Place, and the dad likes to use the workout area and the mom and kids use the pool? What happens with them?” asked Chapman.
Lockert responded that his staff considered that possibility and options were still available.
“That family still has the option to suspend their pass, and if the dad wants to come in and use to exercise area, he can purchase 10 use or monthly passes for that,” said Lockert.
Alderman Candice Kolson voted in opposition.