Inglewood Aquatic Centre among 13 Calgary facilities in need of ‘major’ electrical repair, will close by end of year

An iconic piece of Calgary history, the Inglewood Aquatic Centre has been serving Calgarians for over 60 years, but its days are numbered, as it’s set to close for good at the end of 2024. Jayden Wasney reports.

The Inglewood Aquatic Centre will officially close its doors in December 2024, more than five years after the closure was first considered by the City of Calgary.

City officials said Thursday the Inglewood facility is one of 13 city-operated recreation centres in need of “major” electrical repairs.

There is no risk to customers or staff of the centre, but city officials say there is a chance the electrical system could fail unexpectedly.

The closure of the building was first considered back in 2019 by city council as a solution to reduce the risk of sudden impacts to customers and swim clubs.

In 2021, council approved the closure of Inglewood’s facility when MNP Community & Sport Centre’s Leisure Expansion Aquatics Project was finished.

The city says that expansion is expected to be done in early 2027.

Inglewood’s aquatic centre will be open until Dec. 22, 2024.

The centre first opened in the 1960s and was home to a six-lane, indoor pool, an aquatic climbing wall, a dry sauna, and a multipurpose room.

The city says Inglewood’s facility has exceeded its expected lifespan by more than two decades.

To bring the building back up to par electrically would take three months of work at a cost of $600,000, according to the city.

“We’re grateful we’ve been able to provide services at this facility to Calgarians for over 60 years. From swimming lessons to birthday celebrations to various events, we take great pride in fostering memorable experiences and contributing positively to the well-being of our community. While we explored various possibilities to sustain the facility’s operations, advancing the closure of Inglewood Aquatic Centre prevents the need for a costly and time-consuming repair of the facility,” director of recreation and social Programs, Heather Johnson, said. “Moreover, there is a chance further repairs would be needed beyond the electrical issues because of the facility’s age.”

Prior to the pandemic, the issue of saving inner-city pools made headlines as thousands signed a petition to save the Inglewood and Beltline facilities.

The Beltline Aquatic and Fitness Centre was closed two years ago.

While the expansion of the MNP Community & Sport Centre is significant, Johnson says the city needs more new and modernized recreation facilities.

Over the next three years, the city says it will do the necessary electrical work at three aquatic and fitness facilities each year until they have all undergone the necessary work.

In 2024, work will be done at Bob Bahan Aquatic & Fitness Centre, Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre and Sir Winston Churchill Aquatic & Recreation Centre. E

The city says electrical repairs were completed at Foothills Aquatic Centre during a recent temporary closure.

Electrical work at the remaining facilities will be based on urgency, minimizing disruption to customers and swim clubs, and co-ordinating with other planned repairs.

“City-operated aquatic and fitness facilities continue to require significant capital investment in repairs and maintenance and only limited enhancements can be achieved,” Johnson said. “We need to consider rebuilding or replacing these facilities to better serve the evolving recreational needs of Calgarians.”

Closing the Inglewood Aquatic Centre opens up a space for potential housing redevelopment, which the city says would stimulate the local economy.

Employees of the Inglewood centre will be redeployed to other city recreation facilities, so there will be no job losses connected to the closure.

A public celebration to recognize the significance and legacy of the Inglewood Aquatic Centre is currently being planned by the city.

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