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Society inquires about climbing wall for pool

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Vauxhall Advance

Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall Advance

With the pool’s completion in sight, now is the time to start getting the fun accessories.

In a delegation to Vauxhall town council during their regular meeting on April 18, the Vauxhall Friends of the Pool society inquired about something not typically associated with pools; a climbing wall.

The society wanted permission to install a climbing wall for the pool.

At approximately 9-12 feet high, the wall could be installed on the side of the pool’s deep end and is wide enough for two swimmers to climb up.

The wall will cost just under $19,000 including shipping, and take about eight weeks to go in. The climbing wall arrives preassembled and can be installed by the pool owner.

The society is currently looking at some small grant funding to pay for the addition.

“There’s a couple of ones under $25,000 that are easier to get,” said Valerie Mattice, FotP society secretary, on the availability of grants for small projects.

While council agreed that it would be fun to have a climbing wall for the pool, it also raised concerns about safety and life guarding duties.

“It seems like it would be fun, but it also seems like it would drive a conscientious lifeguard crazy, telling the 12-year old-boys, ‘Don’t push each other off the wall!’ Guaranteed.” said Richard Phillips, Vauxhall councillor.

“That’s just be asking for so-called horseplay.”

“I’d be more worried about the slide, because it’s taller and over cement,” said Tammy Turner, FotP society member.

“I’m not saying this is a bad idea, I’m just saying that, guaranteed, this is going to drive a lifeguard crazy,” said Phillips.

Administration recommended to have either the slide, diving board or wall open at a time, that way the lifeguards will be able to cover the area more easily.

“Which would actually encourage kids to stay longer and enjoy it,” said Shauna Wiest, FotP society member.

Another concern was whether or not it would increase their insurance premiums on the pool, due to potential liability issues.

“I’ll be curious to know if they’re going to say, ‘Oh, you’re premiums are going up because of this’. Again, just thinking in terms of safety and the pool,” said Phillips.

“I mean, this thing is fun, but a thing that is designed to have you fall off and having two people side by side, it increases the probability you’re going to have some little (accident) – I mean hopefully no – you are more likely to have injuries associated with this or with the slide. Just looking at the way it was designed to be used, and the fact that it just begs for horseplay on something like this.”

“I think in a situation like that,” said Wiest.

“If there’s horseplay, it closed down for the that while and they learn their lesson.”

“Have all the rest of you forgot being young at the outdoor pool when we were kids?” asked Phillips, to council’s amusement.

“And getting kicked out if you don’t listen,” said Turner.

The society and a few members of council noted that the same risk would apply for the slide, especially since it was over concrete, and the diving board.

Council made a notion to approve the installation of the climbing wall, provide their insurance provider says it won’t overtly increase their premiums on liability for the pool.

“I mean, if it effects the premiums because we own more stuff in terms of the loss, that’s okay, because it’s got more value,” said Phillips.

“But if it doesn’t effect the liability premiums, then go for it.”

Council also inquired about an idea raised at the open house; putting in a hot tub.

“That is such a nightmare for health reasons,” said Turner.
“It has to be maintained everyday, tested everyday… You have to drain it all the time, because you have so many people and you can guarantee you’ll have kids peeing in it.”

“It’s worse then the pool, because it’s a smaller area. You fill it and it circulates, but not the same as the pool.”

With no filter, having to fill it up everyday, and increase in costs for the chemicals and water, makes a public hot tub very undesirable in the eyes of the society.

The pool is ahead of schedule and will be ready for Canada Day celebrations.

While no official grand opening date has been set, if approved, the wall will be installed in time for the grand opening.

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