From the Centre: Creston community complex now in summer mode

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As Mother Nature rotates through the four seasons, so does the community complex programming and leisure guide production. We lay out our seasons in sessions that are pretty much in accord with the solstice- and equinox-specific dates — the spring session is March, April and May, summer is June, July and August, fall is September, October and November, and, finally, winter is December, January and February.

Currently we are publishing four leisure guides to match the seasons and subsequently are nearing the point where we are doing close to final proofing on the fall edition. I’ll tell you, it is challenging to get instructors to return your calls in order to get details on programs like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing when they are headed to the lake in 35-degree temperatures in July. That’s the nature of the business of providing fun — we have to be five or six months ahead of the curve at any given time.

Our aquatics have shifted slightly now that we have hit July — for instance we have moved our midday pool shutdown for intensive cleaning from 2-3:30 p.m. to 11 a.m.-noon. As we have more kids out for public swimming now that they are out of school, as well as the tourist trade, this gives a greater unbroken stretch of swimming than our non-summer months. As well, our Red Cross swim lessons have ramped up as they always do at this time so we have a lot of bodies displacing water in the mornings, which I always look at as a good thing — you know the saying from It’s a Wonderful Life, “Anytime a child learns to swim, an angel gets its water wings.” Along with Red Cross lessons, we also have swim club practicing, a lap lane, summer fun patrol, public swimming and an aquafit class occurring simultaneously, but remember, there’s always room for one more. It does change people’s patterns from what they might have been used to during school, but as a rule, everyone eventually learns to play well together. As one aquatic person mentioned to me, it’s what we call a PR intensive time.

We are also here as a resource, as many grandparents get the grandkids for a week or five and what better way to burn off that young energy and grab a couple hours of me time than to drop them off at public swim. Unless, of course, they are six or under, in which case — guess what — you are going swimming within arm’s reach of them, but that’s also a good thing because you will sleep better that night while the kids watch the Letterman show.

Summer also brings a few challenges for the building as we hit a few ultra hot days and our cooling system starts nearing capacity. Of course, you can design a building to be able to handle all extremes but it would be quite a bit more expensive than what we have, whereas ours covers 98 per cent of the temperature range and a couple per cent where you sweat a bit heavier in a spin class or treadmill workout. As part of our award-winning efficiency model, you may notice that we don’t air condition certain areas of the building like hallways and some internal rooms that are not on an outside wall. In the end, though, all you need is a few degrees in variation from the outside temperature to be a relief as anyone that attended the Canada Day celebrations will attest.

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.