Opportunities Abound, Year-Round
Collingwood Community Pool and Ice Arena Ontario in Ontario, Canada
By Deborah L. Vence
Officials in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, wanted to enhance the town's sports and recreation facilities to meet the needs of the community.
At issue was that the existing outdoor community pool could not be used year-round. In addition, the city's existing full-service ice arena was busy, and additional space was needed.
After an initial design bid came in at $35 million, the town chose to investigate other options. After hearing presentations from BLT Construction Services and Sprung Instant Structures Ltd., town council and senior management hired the two companies to transform the pool and build a second ice arena—for a cost of about $12 million.
"We had an existing outdoor pool, which only ran about three months of the year and when the Sprung building was presented it was decided to reconstruct existing buildings to an indoor facility using existing tanks. As far as the arena, our existing facility was at the point of not [having] enough ice for the demand," said Dennis Seymour, manager, recreation facilities, parks, recreation and culture for the town of Collingwood.
Construction on the buildings began in November 2012, with the pool being completed in July 2013 and the hockey arena in October 2013.
"These particular structures can withstand very high winds without damage, and the membrane and aluminum supports will never attract mold. It was an inexpensive way to provide extended pool services including certified swim meets and another rink to relieve the ice demand," Seymour said.
The upside to the project was the timeframe, too, taking only 12 months to complete both buildings.
"A normal brick-and-mortar building would take about 24 months," said Dave Barrow, owner of BLT Construction, a Canadian-based company that has offices in Vancouver and Toronto.
"What [we] did was [we] took the pool and made it deeper and made it longer and enclosed the building, and took away the old structure and redid the inside. We did everything on it, [including the] air-handling units," Barrow said. "It's a first-class facility."
Collingwood's outdoor pool, built in 1967 in Heritage Park, was improved by enclosing it with a new high-tech structure from Sprung. This makes it so the pool can be used year-round. A warm-water therapeutic pool, complete with wheelchair access, was also added. Sprung's tensioned fabric structures are engineered and designed for permanent use, and provide a number of advantages over conventional construction, including speed of construction, energy-efficient insulation, rolling service doors, daylight panels, tall peak heights and lower overall project costs.
Now known as the Centennial Aquatic Centre, the 90-foot-by-210-foot structure was built in a six-month timeframe and features a specially designed pool insulation system that performs extremely well in high humidity environments. Translucent daylight panels and sunshine doors add natural daylight to enhance the swimming experience.
Features of the Centre—which offers public swims, Aquafit, lane swims, learn-to-swim lessons, lifesaving leadership courses, and first aid and standard CPR—include a new accessible warm water pool, a viewing room that overlooks both pools, on-site cafeterias, interior spectator seating for 250 people, a multipurpose room, a family changing room, daylighting of roof panels to maximize natural light, four insulated doors to allow for an open environment in favorable weather and an HVAC system throughout the facility.
For hockey enthusiasts, Collingwood now has a second ice rink for year-round use. The new Central Park Arena is located in Central Park, to complement the existing Eddie Bush Arena. The new arena, which boasts a full-size, 85-foot-by-200-foot ice surface, is complete with premium dasher boards and glass. Also, there is an interior spectator seating for 500 with a separate climate-controlled mezzanine lounge for viewing. To boot, the lounge can be rented out for special events and presentations. Six dressing rooms for athletes, including a dedicated female dressing room, are available. In addition, the referee room is capable of accommodating up to eight referees.
Both structures have been a success. "The facilities have met the needs that the community was looking for, sooner [rather] than later," Seymour said.