Multi-million dollar upgrade for Trail Aquatic Centre

Work has begun this week on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre

It’s not just a lot of hot air about a new project for the city’s aquatic centre.

Work has begun this week on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre, but you likely won’t see it happening.

Work is being scheduled for the off-line hours of the centre—between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.—with minimal work being done during the daytime hours.

“A lot of it is the stuff that is the mechanics of the building that is in walls or behind the ceilings,” said Trisha Davison, City of Trail parks and recreation director.

“There’s not going to be a lot of visually noticeable change when people walk in the door.”

But people will notice the change once the work is done, she added.

The goal of the $2.8-million project is to have a properly functioning HVAC system that includes proper dehumidification and improved energy efficiency while reducing operating costs, said Davison, as well as preserving the facility’s infrastructure.

The de-humidifier that served the building’s main pool area failed over 10 years ago and it was never properly repaired, said Davison.

As a result over time, issues have arisen with the unit and the building.

Excess moisture in the building, largely in the pool atrium, has resulted in premature aging of the mechanical systems and the building envelope, Davison explained.

“At any point when you have that kind of humidity sitting in the pool atrium, you have a problem,” she said, noting that corrosion was occurring on metal, and mechanical systems were “taking a real beating.”

Which is where the HVAC upgrade and repair has now come into play. As well, repairs are being made to the building’s envelope system (primarily the building soffits), and upgrades to various electrical functions within the building.

These two systems form part of a proper functioning facility, she said. They will also improve the comfort of users throughout the facility around environment control.

Davison said the pool atrium humidity level should drop, the fitness centre will be on its own heating and cooling system, and the change rooms will have their own environment controls.

“There should be a drastic change for when people walk through the door,” she said.

The major budget items for the multi-million-dollar project include engineering consultation, major equipment components of the mechanical system, labour, and the building envelope repair work.