For immediate release
Esquimalt, BC—In a much-anticipated move to resume recreation services, the Township of Esquimalt is moving forward with reopening the aquatics facility at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre this September.
“Our aquatic centre is one of Esquimalt’s most valued facilities for all ages in the community,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “Having the pool reopen—even in the modified way we’re operating—will give back another social and fitness opportunity to our residents.”
Recreation staff have used the past few months to make the most of the pool’s shutdown time by performing extensive maintenance work. Visitors to the facility will see changes in layout and in processes, including limited access to change rooms.
The facility will have a soft-reopening September 15-17 that will allow staff to make necessary adjustments to keep everyone safe as the gradual return of visitors continues. Reservations for these sessions will open online (esquimalt.ca/recreation) and by phone (250-412-8500) at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8. The full re-opening is scheduled for September 21 with attendance by advanced reservation only. Reservations for these sessions will begin September 18.
The initial pool schedule will include waterfit classes and lap swims with dedicated times for adults, families or parents and tots. While the hot tub, sauna and steam room will remain closed, “Bubble Swims” will be premiering in October. Families and close social groups can rent the lap and lifestyle pools for private use at an hourly rate on Saturday afternoons. The lap pool, waterfit classes and family swims will all be available for registration during other scheduled times.
While parents are also anticipating the return of swim lessons, these activities will resume at a later date. The Canadian Red Cross has advised of new protocols for swim lessons which include instructors teaching from the pool deck and a requirement for all preschool lessons and Swim Kids 1-4 to have a parent participating in the pool. These protocols present significant changes for staff and public alike. “As we determine how to adapt and staff are trained in these new protocols, we anticipate a gradual return to swim lessons beginning with private lessons, likely in October,” said Aquatics Programmer Meghan Nicklin.
The reopening is in alignment with the Province of B.C.’s Restart Plan. The British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association and Royal Lifesaving Society of B.C. have provided guidance for the safe operation of pools and aquatic facilities.
Like with any public space, if users feel any sign of illness, they are asked to stay home and follow the Provincial Health Officer's guidelines.
More information about mandatory safety protocols, schedules and booking can be found at Esquimalt.ca/recreation.