After nine months of ongoing repairs to fix leaks in the Dalplex pool, the repairs should be over soon.
“Dalplex opened in 1979. It’s a great building, but it’s tired,” said Kathie Wheadon, director of facility and business services at Dalplex. “The pool really is one of our most used facilities, and it’s been quiet without it.”
Last year, facilities staff noticed the pool was losing water and they didn’t know why.
Wheadon says finding the source of the water loss was part of the reason the repairs took so long to finish.
After much trial and error, dye tests revealed hairline cracks in the concrete at the bottom of the pool. Divers used caulking to fill the cracks and the water held, but the caulking started to peel. Divers went back down to scrape off the old caulking and replacing it with AquaBond sealant. The repairs started in December 2016, and the job should be mostly finished by the end of the month, with some minor touch ups being done this December.
The process caused many activities to be canceled such as water polo, the masters swim club, and the varsity swim teams have had to train at the Centennial Pool.
Tim Maloney, director of varsity athletics, says the challenges for the varsity teams were threefold: they were unable to host one of their meets, the Centennial Pool could only provide swim time between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and, as a result, their training was cut in half.
The pool closures also caused problems with recruitment because it was hard to convince swimmers to join when no one knew when the pool would reopen.
Despite the adversity, both varsity teams won the AUS Swimming Championships in February, which is the 18th consecutive win for the men and the 16th for the women. At the U SPORTS National Championship, the women finished 11th and the men finished 14th.
“We didn’t do as well as we had done the year before, but I don’t know if I can directly attribute that to the pool,” says head swim coach, Lance Cansdale. “It was tough, but we never used it as an excuse. I never heard any complaints. The athletes showed up and they did what they had to do.”
Wheadon hopes that besides touch ups in December; the repairs are finally finished and won’t affect the upcoming academic year.