Rocanville pool refurbishment on track for summer construction

April 8, 2024, 11:13 am
Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A previous rendering of the pool deck area inside the refurbished pool.

The pool refurbishment project in Rocanville is progressing, according to the town’s mayor Ron Reed. With a general contractor firmly in place (Copper Ridge Construction from Wapella) and a number of sub-trades secured, the task at hand right now is finalizing drawings after the decision to go with a wood frame as opposed to steel construction.

“I believe we’ve got a 60 per cent design review this Friday (April 5), and then further progress review in a couple of weeks again, so everything looks to be on track to have those documents ready for when construction is actually going to happen,” Reed said. “As of right now, contractors are getting set up to do some of the interior trench work for the new piping system around the pool.”

Ultimately, the new building will have a slightly larger footprint than the existing structure. Once those new drawings are approved, residents will notice a lot more activity in the area.

“I think we’re fairly tight enough on our timelines that we’re not going to be able to advance a whole bunch,” Reed said when asked if the milder temperatures would speed up construction plans. “We can’t really get started on actual construction until we’ve got those finalized drawings, but everything’s kind of in place to be done with the trench work and have concrete set to the point that we can start doing demo and not have to worry about damaging that new concrete.”

As with many in the community, Reed is excited to see the project advance.

“I’m looking forward to it just because we’ve invested a lot of time and effort into designing and planning and to finally see something starting is very promising,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of questions over the last while about when things are happening and what’s happening. Until we really had a clear path and timeline, we couldn’t really pass on any information because we didn’t have it. I definitely hope the community’s excited that we’re going to get there.”

The projected $4 million price tag will see half of those dollars coming from the town, but through previous fundraising efforts and sources such as the potash tax sharing, no tax increases are in sight for Rocanville residents.

The potash tax sharing alone is projected to see an increase of just over 13 per cent with the town slated to receive $179,299.45 (up almost $21,000 from 2023 final numbers), which will be a definite help in the project.

Another bonus came from an increase to municipal revenue sharing with Rocanville receiving $248,034 from the provincial government. Those funds are not restricted in their use, allowing municipalities to stretch dollars in multiple projects as needed.

Perhaps the biggest local fundraiser has been the Rocanville Parks & Recreation Lucky Lottery, which added $17,800 to the aquatic centre in their most recent campaign.

“Obviously, corporate and personal donations will be a big part of that as well because it’s a lot easier to go to ask some of these bigger companies to be able to put their piece in if they see something happening,” Reed said. “It’s pretty hard to donate to a theory!”

As with any construction project, slight changes may occur down the road as things get rolling; that’s just the nature of the beast. But Reed is confident that those possible tweaks will not result in a huge impact to the project overall.

Construction on the new building is set to wrap at the end of this year, opening the doors for the 2025 swim season, which means some new jobs will become available.

“Once we know when our timelines are going to be finalized, and we’re ready to open up, we’ll start looking at getting staffed-up to the same levels as we had before and then looking at providing the training courses needed to provide those staff everything they need to be successful,” Reed said.