Swimmers were back in the Centennial Pool Tuesday, after it was closed for renovations. (CBC)

Eager swimmers were back in Halifax's Centennial Pool Tuesday, the first day it was open for business after being closed for a month to allow for some environmentally friendly renovations.

Although everything on the surface all looks the same, the mechanical and electrical systems were upgraded to replace the ones built when the pool first opened in 1967.

It's now state-of-the art and environmentally friendly. It also has solar panels installed on the exterior of the building.

"We'll have five to 10 per cent of the building's energy being supplied by solar panels," Terry Gallagher, HRM's facility development manager, said.

On top of that, the building is now connected through underground pipes to the Halifax Regional Police headquarters across Gottingen Street. The two buildings share one boiler, and when the solar panels are hooked up, that will equal big savings.

"We've combined three projects into one using district heat connecting a couple of buildings together which is a very effective use of the resources and assets we have," Gallagher said.


Centennial Pool operations manager Kathleen Ahern. (CBC)

And the benefits are far-reaching, Kathleen Ahern, operations manager at Centennial Pool, said.

"Because it brings down the operations costs through the new mechanicals, basically that allows us to invest more into the community-based programs at a lower cost," she said.

After two years of work and about $3 million, the project is nearly complete. The solar panels on the Centennial Pool building will be hooked up in a few weeks.