Sun Peaks community pool slated for 2024 reopening

Upgrades to the outdoor swimming spot are necessary, and the facility has been closed since 2019.
Sun Peaks community pool: A cement pool deck with a circular pool is in the middle of the photo and a small kids splash pad is in the foreground. The pool and splash pad sits empty with dirt at the bottom. There are various tools sitting on the deck. The left side of the photo has a white building with brown trimming and wooden panelling. The background features a black building that covers an ice rink. The sky is blue with sparse clouds.
Sun Peaks community pool has been closed since 2019 and may not open this year. Photo by Liz McDonald.

After five years of closures, Sun Peaks community pool is getting a facelift.

The pool is undergoing renovations for a host of necessary upgrades. Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) is replacing the boiler system, increasing solar heating integration, replacing the water treatment system, repainting and resurfacing the pool, splash pad and deck, rebuilding the fence and upgrading the bathrooms. 

2023 was set aside for these renovations SPMRM’s chief administrative officer, Shane Bourke, said the opening is contingent on licencing by Interior Health and installing new boilers in time. If everything goes as planned, the pool could open for a test run in September. 

“Two things are out of our hands – delivery of the boilers and permitting by Interior Health. We’ve started some of the permitting processes…but it’s out of our hands how long that will take,” Bourke told SPIN.

If the pool is not ready for September, Bourke said summer 2024 will be the first full season. 

The pool has been closed since 2019, when work began at Sun Peaks Centre and was subsequently closed because of COVID-19 and upgrades.

Funding for the renovations comes from the Resort Municipality Initiative, a provincial program that finances resort communities for tourist attractions.

The total funding received was $340,000 for three years. SPMRM has budgeted $300,000 for the pool, and the rest of the grant is going towards upgrades at the Sun Peaks Centre, the skating rink and a paved trail near the Orient chairlift.

SPMRM initially thought they would have to resurface the whole pool due to leaking water, but discovered the leaks came from a broken seal last year, Bourke said.

“It’s leak-free, so we’re able to recoat it, patch a few tiles and do the deck as well,” he said. “It wasn’t as big of a job as we originally thought.”

The municipality has never operated the pool, which Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) originally owned, so Bourke said he’s uncertain how much running a community pool will cost.

“All we know is that there have been some significant costs,” he explained. “We’re still working through what our final operating model is going to be.”

The municipality is holding preliminary discussions for a public-private operation model with Alpine Fitness, which is located adjacent to the pool. 

“That might be a model that reduces municipal costs and is still open to the community,” Bourke said.

The fitness centre could offer swimming as part of their operations. The gym’s lease includes the option to operate the facility, but due to the repairs needed, they have opted out in the past.

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