Wow, it’s the middle of August already and you are probably like the rest of us, wondering where the heck the summer went. While the traditional thought of summer is July and August, revolving around the school calendar, luckily our valley has a pretty extensive shoulder season of three or four months either side of those dates, as well as a winter that barely made it into the minus double digits, which is pretty darn acceptable. It’s more of a societal thing, I guess: the build up to school starting again, the wave of back-to-school advertising, including the increase in logging to be able to produce even more flyers for your mailbox, and finally our annual pool shutdown at the end of August.
Pool shutdown, you say? What’s that all about? Basically, from Aug. 31-Sept. 13, the pool area is closed and all three of the pools are drained, followed by a pretty intense inspection of all the tiles and fixtures that normally are submerged. We also examine all the lighting, both underwater and overhead, and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. Then the cleaning begins — all the pool basins are scrubbed and disinfected to the point where you could probably do surgery in there should the need arise. We also target all fixtures and walls for cleaning, and focus on scrubbing the deck all the way around and into all the change rooms, which also get an intense makeover.
What you see when you come back after shutdown realistically doesn’t look much different because we are pretty diligent with day-to-day cleaning and maintenance, but what you don’t see is the background stuff like inspection and rebuilding of pumps, filters and equipment where necessary in the mechanical room. We are hoping to have received a batch of replacement keys and wrist loops for the change room lockers; we have changed up the monitoring and ordering process so we can keep downtime to a minimum (thanks for your comment cards). Ultimately, since we strove for a quality job on the design and construction of your community complex, it pays off in the long run in maintenance and operating costs; at this point in the life cycle, we typically don’t have anything major required.
So, what to do when the pool is closed? You don’t get off that easy — when you check your fall leisure guide, which will land in your mailbox the week of Aug. 19, turn to page 13, which shows all the new or introductory programs we have set up to keep you in crack shape during the two weeks you are moistureless. Plus, if you are sharp-sighted, you will see that during those couple weeks, it is two-for-one entry, so bring a friend for free (or if you are like me, make the friend pay and you get in for free). Either way, we want to remind those who usually swim that there is life on dry land, and we also want to inspire you to bring someone else who hasn’t seen the place to experience it!
One final note is, if you are feeling hot and sweaty, why not come out for a bit of public skating to cool down? The ice will be open Aug. 19, 21, 25 and 29 from 2-4 p.m. It’s probably the only time of year you could walk in with flip-flops, then strap on some skates to glide gracefully over the ice. See you there!
Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.