The Fernie Aquatic Centre will be closed for up to a week after vandals caused extensive damage to the facility.
City officials said someone accessed the building’s roof sometime late on Friday or early in the morning on Saturday and smashed several windows.
Shards of glass were scattered on the pool deck and in the main pool.
City officials said crews have been working to board up windows, assess the damage and begin the process of draining and cleaning the pool.
“Staff will completely drain the main pool and perform a thorough clean before refilling. This process typically takes 5-7 days before the pool returns to the appropriate temperature and balance for use,” said city officials.
The facilities were closed over the weekend, cancelling public swimming and the Elk Valley Dolphins had to move their planned swim meet.
“The swim meet has been relocated to Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, where the more than 400 participants and spectators from the Kootenays, Alberta, and Montana have been able to continue the competition,” said City staff.
As a result of the latest incidents, and several other past vandalism to the same building, Fernie is looking into ways security can be improved.
“We will be looking at options for installing security cameras outside the facility as a way of mitigating the vandalism and inappropriate behaviour that we are seeing after hours around the Aquatics property,” said Brett Logan, Fernie’s Director of Parks, Facilities, and Recreation “The number of incidents we are seeing is concerning and the significant damage is impacting our programming and costing taxpayers money.”
According to the Elk Valley RCMP, the damage and associated cleaning is estimated to cost the city about $30,000.
Anyone with information is asked to call the local police at 250-425-6233 or contact BC Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)