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Smith Aquatic Center to close for HVAC project

Charlottesville’s Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center will be closed all summer and into early fall for a ventilation and air distribution improvement project.

The pool will be closed from May 4 through October or November, according to a news release.

The proposed Capital Improvement Program for fiscal 2021, which starts July 1, includes $1.5 million for the project. The city is using $300,000 in unused CIP money for the portion of the project to occur before July 1.

The work will improve the air quality and ventilation of the more than 27,000-square-foot facility and maintain building and infrastructure integrity by mitigating corrosion factors prevalent in indoor aquatic venues, the release says.

The improvements are pending City Council approval of the fiscal 2021 budget and CIP, which is expected in early April.

Swimming programs scheduled during the renovation project will be relocated to Crow Indoor Swimming Pool, Onesty Family Aquatic Center, and Washington Park Swimming Pool. Fitness and group exercise classes and other non-pool events will take place at Carver Recreation Center.

Access Pass rates to these facilities will be discounted during the closure, and a reduced daily admission rate will be implemented at Crow Pool.

The $11.2 million center has experienced ongoing issues since opening in 2010, including periodic closings, most recently for new exhaust systems in 2015, which cost nearly $342,000.

At that time, a city staff memo pointed to design flaws in the building as a potential problem, including the facility’s ventilation and pool water treatment and heating systems and other issues that were linked to poor health, hazardous air quality and structural corrosion.


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