Paine Aquatic Center to undergo repairs

MANISTEE — Manistee Area Public School officials announced that the Paine Aquatic Center will be undergoing some major upgrades to the HVAC system that will result in it being closed from July 19 to Aug. 8.

The Paine Aquatic Center will be undergoing some HVAC improvements that will cause the pool to be closed from July 19 to Aug. 8.

The Paine Aquatic Center will be undergoing some HVAC improvements that will cause the pool to be closed from July 19 to Aug. 8.

MAPS business manager Howard Vaas said that the changes will result in better energy efficiency and make it more comfortable to those using the facility and watching sporting events.

“That building was set up to be very energy efficient and these improvements will continue in that theme,” said Vaas. “What the HVAC does is it captures heat from the dehumidification units and rather then just exhausting that heat those HVAC units use it to heat the pool water.”

Vaas said the units that were originally put in when the pool was constructed were in need of some significant repair, but that replacement was an even better option.

“The energy savings made replacement a better option,” said Vaas. “So we are replacing both of those dehumidification units. That is a big project, so we are closing on July 19 start disconnecting them. The new units are scheduled to arrive on site on July 23 and they will have to crane those up on the roof and crane the others off.”

Time is of the essence said Vaas as they have a three week window to get the old ones off and the new ones programmed and installed.

“Hopefully, it will take less time than the three weeks, but that is the worst case scenario,” said Vaas. “We have to shut it down because there isn’t going to be any dehumidification and the water will not be heated with the units.”

Those who have memberships don’t need to worry about lost time at the pool.

“What we are going to do is just extend our members’ memberships by the period that we are shut down,” said Vaas. “We probably will end up giving them the full three weeks even if we are down less than that to just make up for the inconvenience.”

Vaas said the pool is used quite extensively by the public and that is why they wanted to notify everyone of the upcoming closure. However, Vaas added that the finished product will make a big difference at the pool.

“We are going to have increased comfort because as those units became less efficient, it started to impact the comfort level of those using that building,” said Vaas. “So we will have much more energy efficient use of those buildings.”

This work is all part of the project the district is doing with the Honeywell Corporation.

“Those are all done so the energy savings actually pay for the things you are investing in it,” said Vaas. “Other enhancements we have planned for the pool are going to be all new lighting installed over the pool area that is  much more efficient LED system and the old system was not too reliable.”

A great deal of effort went into keeping the pool as it was originally designed. Vaas said one of the steps to achieve   it was to have have a custom built lighting fixture that went into the housing that was originally designed.

“The new lights are going to last a lot longer and be much cheaper to run, so we are really excited about that,” said Vaas. “It also upgrades the blue box which is the control center for all the lights in that part of the building.”

Some of the improvements are needed Vaas said because a pool is a very corrosive environment, so everything at the Paine Aquatic Center that runs the HVAC and lighting will be new.

“So we will have a better environment for our users,” said Vaas. “We do everything we can to protect against the corrosion, but that is just the nature of the beast.”

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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