Dorval's $20-million pool complex nearing completion

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The final touches to complete Dorval’s much anticipated $20-million aquatic and sports complex are well underway.

As crews completed deck tile work around a pool last Friday, Mayor Edgar Rouleau didn’t let that day’s missed construction delivery deadline dampen his enthusiasm. He noted the contractor, Decarel Inc., will turn over the facility to the city in about a week or two so that final touches, such as tech equipment, can be installed before the expected grand opening of the complex in August.

“This pool is going to be something (well received by the community),” the mayor said. “I can’t wait to come and meet the kids here. We needed it.”

Although both pool basins are already filled with water and are in working order, testing the chlorine-based filtration system for quality control takes some time, Rouleau said.

“We don’t want someone swimming in water that’s contaminated. It’s a lot of water,” he said of the precautionary measure.

“They will be making tests for the water soon. We haven’t put any heat yet. The water will be heated,” he told The Montreal Gazette during a tour of the facility. “It takes a while. If everything goes well, maybe we’ll open sooner, but right now we’re saying mid-August.”

The 45,000-square-foot sports complex on Dawson Ave. boasts a 25-metre eight-lane pool, a walk-in recreational pool with a towering water slide, three sets of locker rooms, a double gymnasium with retractable bleachers and a multi-purpose room to be used for activities like aerobics. The gym, with its wooden floors and bright green walls, can be utilized for basketball, floor hockey, badminton and even for tennis, which is to be played with a special ball designed for an indoor court game, Rouleau said. Both pools have access ramps for the handicapped.

Rouleau said there is much demand from youth basketball leagues for gym space, adding the city only rented space at local schools since it did not have its own gym until now.

After checking modern facilities in the Montreal area, Dorval decided a 25-metre semi-Olympic size pool with two one-metre high diving boards and a larger capacity recreational pool suited its needs more, Rouleau said.

“We don’t want to compete with Dollard (in water-polo) and Pointe-Claire (in diving), which are so close,” Rouleau said of these elite programs.

On weekends, the mayor expects the recreational pool, which features a beach-like gradual inclined entrance, fountain modules, a slide tower and a water-jet spa seating area, will be extremely popular with families.

With the construction phase all but completed, last week city council ordered tech, office and sports equipment for the complex, including a digital display to post information in the entrance lobby, installation of a fibre-optic network and a scoreboard for the gym. The cost of this equipment, including about $20,000 for the scoreboard, are on top the general construction price tag for the complex.

Council also approved the establishment of an artwork committee that will oversee the selection of an outdoor sculpture, a project with an overall cost of about $100,000, which will eventually be installed near the front entrance of the complex. Four artists who have been shortlisted toured the facility last week as they prepare maquettes to be judged this fall.

With the opening of the sports complex, built on land provided by the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (CSMB), the aging pool at adjacent École secondaire Dorval Jean XXIII will eventually be demolished, with the space to be repurposed for the school, Rouleau said. Dorval had offered its citizens indoor swimming at the Jean XXIII pool, helping with its upkeep over the years, and will now have an arrangement in place so CSMB students can use the city’s new facility.

The city awarded the main construction contract to Decarel in February 2013 and had announced in late 2011 that it received a $5-million provincial grant for the project.

“(The city) didn’t have an indoor pool. We knew Jean XXIII pool was at the end of its life. That’s what started the whole idea of building the complex,” Rouleau recalled.

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