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Bear Creek Pool preparing for mid-July open

Grande Prairie residents will have some relief from the heat this summer. A city committee heard Tuesday that the Bear Creek Outdoor pool is nearing completion and will be open around the middle of July.

Eastlink Centre General Manager Jim Weller is overseeing the opening along with his staff. He says they are hoping to have facility turned over to them just after Canada Day.

“Then obviously we’ll need time to train up our staff and get them fully functional in that environment. So, I’m hoping [to open] either the second or the third week of July.”

Weller says that opening will also be dependant on health inspector approval.

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Construction was delayed during the flooding that impacted the Bear Creek corridor earlier this spring. Weller says the closure of Muskoseepi park halted the project.

“So that delayed us probably two to three weeks because the construction crew couldn’t get down there. Plus, the water table was so high that the pool was almost floating up.”

He says tests that were completed after the flooding show there was no major damage done to the pool.

The new space will have a number of features. Weller says overall it will be slightly smaller than before.

“There’s going to be some sails at the end. Some features to create some shade for people. So, we’re excited. The whole building, the locker room areas, it’s all be re-done.”

The pool will also have a number of spray features throughout and a waterslide that Weller says won’t just be for the little kids.

Council will have to approve the proposed rates at their July 3, 2018 meeting. Those will need to be settled in order for the pool to open. The proposed rates for this season are $4 for children, $6 for youth and seniors, $8 for adults and $20 for a family pass.

Weller says they did work to keep the rates low, even taking into consideration the admission rates at the outdoor pool in Spirit River. He also says at this time Eastlink Membership’s will not provide access to the outdoor pool.

“Given some past history being fiscally responsible is a very critical part of what we do. We felt that if we were going to provide that option it may hinder us in terms of making our budget goal.”

Budget projections for the first year show about a 54 per cent “cost recovery”. The initial budget expectations were higher but the shortened season for the first year lowered that.

The standard season for the pool will be from May long weekend to Labour Day.`

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