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As athletes head to Olympics, Saanich pool closes for fixes

Jul 06 2012

When local swimmers leave for the London Olympics, their training ground - Saanich Commonwealth Place - will temporarily close to replace a skylight.

"We decided to postpone the skylight work until the athletes left," said manager Tom Bryce, adding that 13 athletes who use the pool are set to compete in London.

The athletes and four coaches will depart before construction on the 24-square-metre skylight starts July 9. The facilities will remain closed until Sept. 17.

"There'll be scaffolding coming from the bottom of the pool all the way up to the skylight," Bryce said, adding that it's directly over the entire aquatic zone. The facility's two pools must be drained for the project.

During construction, there will be no access to the pools, sauna, steam room or pool decks.

People with memberships to Commonwealth Place are still able to use the gym and weight rooms as well as any other dry facilities.

Passes will be valid at other pools in the area with no additional charge, Bryce said.

Another option for members is to freeze their cards for the duration of the construction. They can resume using Commonwealth Place pools in September and tack on any lost swim time to the existing membership.

The skylight construction is necessary because of a roof leak that was discovered some time ago.

Last summer, the roof was replaced, but the skylight project was postponed so competitive athletes didn't have any disruption to their training schedules.

Bryce said he has been working with coaches to figure out the best time to close the pool.

"We're really quite proud of them," he said of the 13 athletes.

"Some of them started with swimming lessons here. It's really neat to see the full cycle."


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