Silver Springs outdoor pool renovation
To maximize Calgary’s short construction season, construction began in June of 2016 with all work anticipated to be completed in time for the 2017 season. While every effort was made to complete the project within this timeline, the intermittent presence of water delayed the contractor’s ability to complete the final stages of waterproofing and painting of the basin.
The pool is now anticipated to be completed in time for the 2018 season.
We are aware of the significant impact of continued closure of the pool, however it is important that The City deliver a long-term, reliable community amenity to meet the needs of users for years to come.
Silver Springs Pool has been a well-loved fixture in the community since 1974. The City of Calgary and the Silver Springs Community Association work diligently each season to ensure the pool is accessible, reliable and safe for community members. The City of Calgary, members of the Silver Springs Community Association and the Silver Springs Outdoor Pool Fundraising Foundation (SSOPFF) worked together to review plans for redevelopment of the pool based on community feedback. New designs for the redevelopment of the pool were presented to the community at an open house in April of 2015. The designs received overwhelming support and are responsive to expressed community needs, including the desire for a deep water component. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the SSOPFF, designs now incorporate a deep end with diving features.
New Feature* - Access Ramp
The City identified funds within the current budget to develop a switchback ramp at the shallow end of the pool. The ramp will improve the ease of pool entry and exit for people with reduced mobility, including seniors, pregnant women, children and people with physical limitations because of a disability or injury.
The decision to add the ramp is based on the need to improve usability, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the water. The design for the ramp (switchback) also represents the best option for lifeguard sight lines and allows people to move quickly and safety in and out of the pool.
Questions and Answers
The pool was at the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced. Significant structural and mechanical issues needed to be addressed to prevent a complete failure of the facility.
The decision to add the ramp is based on the need to improve usability, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the water. The ramp will improve the ease of pool entry and exit for people with reduced mobility, including seniors, pregnant women, children and people with physical limitations because of a disability or injury.
Groundwater seepage through small cracks became evident in the basin walls following early spring rains in 2017. Cracks are not uncommon in the early lifespan of concrete, and a modern additive in the concrete will help it naturally form a watertight seal over time. However, the pool cannot be painted and filled until the basin is fully sealed and dry. The visible cracks are being patched to speed up the sealing process, but as the groundwater flowed around the basin additional cracks became evident which must also be sealed.
As the concrete is patched, the water in the ground flows around the basin and enters through any small opening. These newly-visible cracks must then be patched and sealed.
Small cracks in concrete are not an uncommon occurrence. This would not be a concern if water were not present, as the pool could be painted and commissioned normally. Water and surface moisture is preventing the painting of the basin. Cracks were anticipated, however the time for the concrete additive to naturally seal the cracks is dependent on factors including weather, air temperature, ground moisture, and humidity. The duration of time that it has taken for water to appear through cracks could not have been anticipated.
The City is keenly aware of the impact of delays on an outdoor pool’s short season. Recreation worked closely with the contractor to meet an aggressive completion schedule, but the sporadic way the cracks appear was not expected. The contractor was successful in maintaining the schedule until the intermittent spring rainfall and the return of groundwater levels to spring norms identified the locations requiring patching.
Since informed of the delay, Calgary Recreation has worked closely with the contractor to find ways to keep the project on schedule without compromising the long-term quality of the basin. The visible cracks were filled and patched to speed up completion, but ongoing seepage through newly-visible cracks has forced a delay in completion. The pool has been winterized for the winter season to prevent freezing of the pipes. Temporary tarping and heating has been installed along the walls of the pool basin to allow the Contractor to continue patching any leaks should they develop through the winter months.
Yes – The City used a consultant team with deep experience in the field. The general contractor for construction of the new basin is a prequalified City of Calgary vendor with a long history in the Calgary area who specializes in atypical projects, including unique recreational projects. They were the successful proponent through The City’s competitive procurement process.
The contractor worked through the winter of 2016 in order to meet The City’s original aggressive schedule. They were on time until water seepage was discovered in the spring as rains and thawing returned the water table to its natural high level. Since the seepage was discovered so close to completion of the pool, there was limited ability to absorb any delay in the schedule.