Bulkley Valley Aquatic Centre facility manager Tamara Gillis announced April 5 that the pool will be closed on Sundays starting April 14 due to low staffing levels. (Karissa Gall/Smithers Interior News)

Aquatic Centre pool closed on Sundays (again)

Bulkley Valley Aquatic Centre pool also reduced hours of operation in fall 2018 due to understaffing

The Bulkley Valley Aquatic Centre pool will be closed on Sundays starting April 14 due to low staffing levels.

The “Toonie Swim & Gym” on Sunday evenings will be affected by the closure, and the centre will instead offer a toonie swim on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., until further notice.

The pool also reduced its hours of operation in fall 2018 due to understaffing, a problem facility manager Tamara Gillis said they are trying to solve.

READ MORE: Staff shortage closes pool on Sundays

Gillis said part of the problem is that they have a record low number of high school lifeguards this year, with only one student currently working on the pool side of the centre.

Coun. Greg Brown also raised the closure at council’s regular meeting on April 9.

“I think that’s just another sector experiencing a crunch in human resources,” he said.

To attract more students and other people interested in a career in aquatics, Gillis told Interior News their board of directors recently increased the hourly wage for lifeguards to $17.

“Anyone thinking about becoming a lifeguard, please come talk with us,” she said. “You need to like being in the water, you need to like being physically fit and willing to put the time in to take the courses.

“Anybody who sets their mind to becoming a lifeguard can do it.”

To train new lifeguards and get back to normal operations, Gillis said their staff will be working with Houston Leisure Services to offer courses this spring and summer.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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