For the past eight months, the TCC pool has been under mass construction and closed to the public. The 13.5 million-dollar project included a variety of initiatives towards energy-efficient programming. After beginning the renovations in May of 2020, the pool is now officially open to the public.
Swimmers will primarily notice upgraded change rooms, a brand-new spray park for children, and a whirlpool along with many other cosmetic touch-ups.
“Accessibility and inclusivity are important themes to the improvements we’ve made,” Andrew Smeaton, Kamloops Aquatic Supervisor described. “From the change room renovations to the accessible lifts and the new spectator entrance, people of all abilities now have improved access to aquatics in our community.”
Possibly the biggest change to the aquatics centre are the new change rooms. What was once a large public change room is now a row of sealed quarters for increased privacy, thus making the experience of going to the pool more comfortable.
Despite it being open to the general public, people must follow strict rules in order to maintain safety and follow COVID-19 protocols. Some of those include wearing masks when not swimming, and traffic flow design in change rooms to maintain physical distancing and capacity of 50 people. “We’re excited to get everyone back into the pool as soon as possible, but safety during the pandemic is our top priority,” Smeaton stated. “The updates are impressive and change how people move through space, as do the COVID-19 safety protocols.”
With the reopening, the TRU swim team has also been able to return to training after a 10-month hiatus. Their schedule is back in full swing and they are able to practice most days of the week.
“I am definitely excited to be back in the TCC. There aren’t many pools around that are able to blend a competitive atmosphere with a family-friendly environment,” explained TRU swimmer Emily Dagasso. “Having swum at the TCC for nine years now, I found it very strange and difficult to be away from it during the 10 months it was closed.”
If you have a gym pass at TCC, you are able to swim as part of your membership; if not, the regular rates of using the pool for adults aged 19-59 are $7.80 for a drop-in session, $69.45 for a 10 admissions punch card, $41 for a monthly pass and $410 for an annual pass. The pool is open Monday – Friday from 6:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. Swimmers must pre-register to monitor numbers.