After months of waiting – and plenty of resident complaints – the South Surrey Indoor Pool finally reopened this week.
The 14655 17 Ave. facility, which is especially popular among local seniors, opened Tuesday (Sept. 20) with what the City of Surrey website calls “limited activities.” Drop-in swimming and the weight room are open, the website reads, but registration for swimming lessons is full.
As well, the city’s website notes that “continued patience is appreciated” as the facility aims to hire and train new staff “to restore normalized operations.”
The South Surrey Pool closed in the spring of 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and stayed closed until this week, despite the city’s other indoor aquatic facilities all reopening in recent months. The continued closure of the pool drew sharp criticism from would-be users and politicians alike, with Surrey Coun. Linda Annis repeatedly blaming the closure on Mayor Doug McCallum and cost overruns associated with the Surrey Police transition.
City of Surrey officials attributed the delays in reopening the pool to a lack of lifeguards.
However, despite the limitations, Semiahmoo Peninsula resident Garry Worters – who was a vociferous critic of the extended closure – was thrilled to see the pool open, and said he “and a small number” of other people were waiting outside the front door right at 8 a.m. Tuesday when staff unlocked the front doors.
“Two lovely ladies were there to greet me… the facility is first class, from the reception to all the (amenities) offered. It was a great morning. All in all, a great benefit to the South Surrey and White Rock community.”