Ready, set, swim: Inuvik pool to reopen after 7-month shutdown

After being shut down since May, the swimming pool in Inuvik, N.W.T., will finally reopen next week.

Town pool has been plagued by permafrost damage, leaks, broken jets for 13 years

Grant Hood, senior administrative officer for the Town of Inuvik, gave a tour of the revamped Inuvik pool which was shut down since the summer. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Inuvik's swimming pool is set to reopen next week after it was shut down in May.

"We're filling the pool now which is an exciting day for us," said Grant Hood, senior administrative officer for the Town of Inuvik. The pool will be open for the public to enjoy next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Hood said the pool, which is located at the Midnight Sun Complex, has been having issues since it first opened 13 years ago. After the most recent leak this summer, Hood said the town made the decision to shut it down.

"[We took] a good hard look at where we are and if we want to cause some short-term pain for some long-term gain," he said.

The town brought up an engineer to do a full inspection of the pool.

The pool's inlets were plastic and started to crack; now, they are stainless steel. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Hood said one of the pool's inlets, also called a jet that pumps water back into the pool, broke and blew off. The pool's inlets were plastic, which started to crack. Now, they are stainless steel.

Hood said there were also recommendations for some "major concrete work."

"We just have some unusual circumstances with our weather and our climate and with the permafrost — which is a big issue up here," said Hood.

"[The ground] shifted maybe a little more than was anticipated."

Despite the ongoing problem, Hood reassured that there is no issue with the actual design of the pool. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

But despite the ongoing problems, Hood said there is no issue with the actual design of the pool.

The town also took out lights that were installed on the side walls of the pool, because they weren't used often and they were also causing issues.

It's a congregating place.- Grant Hood, SAO of Inuvik

Fresh coats of paint cover the rocks around the pool, and workers touched up the mural on the walls.

Hood said that the town had put aside about $110,000 in the 2018 budget for the repairs, but could possibly end up spending a little less.

The closure hasn't gone unnoticed in the town. Swim classes were cancelled and one local triathlete was unable to train while the pool was closed.

Hood said the town knows how special the pool is and appreciates the patience from residents.

"The pool is no only just for Inuvik but for the Beaufort Delta … It's a congregating place."  

Hood said staff are looking into having three free days of swimming once the pool reopens next week.