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Centennial Pool in Abbotsford reopens after $1.1M in upgrades

Facility celebrates ribbon-cutting on June 18 after two-year closure
Abbotsford’s Centennial Pool celebrates its grand opening on Saturday (June 18) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Henry Braun. (Facebook photo)

Centennial Pool in Abbotsford is set to celebrate a grand opening this Saturday (June 18) after undergoing almost $1.1 million in improvements.

Mayor Henry Braun will be on hand at 1 p.m. for the official ribbon-cutting. He will then jump into the pool – located in Mill Lake Park at 2310 Emerson St. – with some members of the Abbotsford Whalers Aquatic Club.

The pool was closed throughout 2020 due to the pandemic, and preparations began in March 2021 for its reopening. But city staff discovered that the conditions of the facility had deteriorated and would require upgrades before it could be operational.

Among the issues identified were chemical, ventilation and mechanical equipment that needed replacing, as well as concerns with failing concrete in the mechanical room ceiling and with the pool basin coating, which had lifted away.

RELATED: Abbotsford council approves almost $1.1M in upgrades to Centennial pool

Other needed building improvements included locker replacement, an upgrade to the first aid room, replacement of the shower tiles, lighting upgrades to LED, interior repainting, and an upgrade to the front desk.

The project’s estimated budget was $1.086 million, with the money coming from the Community Works Fund, available to local governments in B.C. through a direct allocation of gas tax. It is based on a per-capita formula.

A 2021 city staff report stated that it would have been ideal to have the pool’s issues identified early in 2020.

However, parks and recreation staff were “significantly reduced” due to the pandemic, and priority was given to the city’s recreation centres, with no additional time to inspect Centennial Outdoor Pool until 2021, the report added.

The work is expected to extend the life of the pool by another five to seven years.

The pool – the only public outdoor one in the community – was built in 1958 to celebrate B.C.’s 100th birthday. It was originally built as a 25-metre, six-lane pool but was extended to eight lanes in 2007, making it the city’s largest pool.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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