Saturday, June 4, 2011

Opening of the New Penticton Community Centre - June 4, 2011

Opening of New Penticton Community Centre
After returning from a winter in warmer climes, I was eager to attend the opening of our new Penticton Community Centre, which was in the early stages of progress when we left the country last Fall.

Camera in hand I approached the glass front of the building  and was amazed at how large the new facility was.

Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton with children Chantal and Coleton and Bubblee Bubblezz the clown
At the door everyone was greeted by Mayor Dan Ashton and  his two children Chantal and Coleton. Bubblee Bubblezz the clown, aka Darlene Gruetzbach was also there entertaining  children and adults alike in her trademark "joy and laughter"  style.

New Pool at Penticton Community Centre
My first thought as I entered the pool area of the centre was  "Wow this is awesome!" It is huge and includes a big new main  pool, a leisure pool with a bubble pit, water slide and a whirl pool. It was hard for me to imagine which part of the structure was the original building.  The pool area also has new Change Rooms including a Family Changing Room and also a Child Minding Room where Moms and Dads can leave their little ones in safe hands while they get fit.

Fitness Room
As I made my way upstairs I realized how all the windows added so much natural light to the facility. The fitness room was much larger than the original one and held all manner of torturous equipment designed to get us in shape or else!  The walkway adjacent to the room looked down through more windows to the pools  below.

Upstairs I was introduced to Dave Lieskovsky who has worked at the Centre for the past 25.5 years. He told me that he was the city's contact for the whole project and was the liaison  between a team of consultants including architects, construction management and project management.  According  to Mr. Lieskovsky, it would have cost 4 million dollars in upgrading to keep the old facility going. The city applied for an infrastructure grant through the government for a new facility and was rewarded when the grant was approved on Sept 24  2009. The 23 million dollar figure came equally from the 3 levels of  government i.e., Federal, Provincial and the City of Penticton.
The pool was shut down March 2010 and in a staggering only 14 month period, our new Community Centre is now open.  Apparently most buildings of this magnitude would normally  take at least 2 years to complete. As I spoke with Dave I could  sense how proud he was to have made such a big contribution to the city through his, I am sure, tireless endeavors working on the project.

The Penticton Community Centre will be open to the public starting on Monday June 6th and there will be free admission  from June 6 to June 12 for the public to try out the new facility.  I, for one, can't wait to try out the new pool and I might even join the kids on the water slide or take an Aqua Fitness class.

For more information on the recreational activities offered, visit the Penticton Website.

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