The steam room at the Aquatic Centre in Kimberley has been out of commission since April, 2019. (Corey Bullock/Kimberley Bulletin file).

Kimberley City Council approves $26,000 budget for Aquatic Centre steam room repairs

The entire steam room will need to be demolished, but pool to remain open.

The steam room at the Kimberley Aquatic Centre will soon be undergoing repairs after being out of commission for at least six months due to a vapour barrier issue.

At a special meeting of Council on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, Manager of Parks and Facilities Brett Clark explained that a budget amendment of $26,000 was required in order to complete the necessary repairs.

Council approved the budget amendment, however Clark could not estimate when the repairs will be complete.

“At this time we do not have an approximate date for [the steam room] to re-open,” he said in an email to the Bulletin, adding that once a project start date is determined, the Operations department will have better idea of when the steam room can re-open.

Clark explained that the issues with the steam room were a lot larger than they originally anticipated.

“During the initial construction of the Kimberley Aquatic Centre, the steam room was not properly insulated and as a result, over the course of the last 14 years, moisture has penetrated into the ceiling and wall cavities through the ceiling vent fan,” Clark explained in a report to Council. “This moisture penetration has resulted in the steel stud structure being completely rusted and deteriorated leaving the structure of the steam room compromised.”

He adds that at first, they identified that a vent in the ceiling was not properly vapour protected, which led to them finding a much larger issue.

“Once we removed the roof it was identified that the moisture had worked its way into the wall cavities as well. We then realized that the entire support structure of the room was compromised and it became clear that it was a much larger issue than we first anticipated,” Clark said.

“We also had to solve some issues before we could even start to examine how wide spread the problem was, for safety reasons, like moving the large steam generator and hot water tank which were situated on the roof of the steam room, ensuring we could create negative pressure when demoing the room as well as protecting the aquatic environment surrounding the steam room.”

Repairs will include the demolition of the room using a HEPA rated air scrubber to keep the room under negative pressure to minimize dust escaping and to allow the Aquatic Centre to remain open while construction is happening, Clark says.

Re-connection of the steam generator, plumbing and total reconstruction of the room including studs, foam insulation, cement board, Kerdi moisture protection and shower tiles will also need to be completed.

“The repairs will also include removing and condemning the existing ceiling vent fan as it cannot be sealed properly and its continued presence would likely result in a similar situation of water damage to the ceiling and wall structure,” Clark explained. “A contractor has been identified to undertake the work and no closure of the Aquatic Centre while the work is being performed is anticipated at this time.”

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