December 10, 2022

The contractor in the rehabilitation of the swimming pool complex at the Baguio Athletic Bowl has promised that the project will be completed within the year.

The P43-million project, which was issued a notice to proceed in September 2019, was supposed to be completed within 118 calendar days, but the same has been delayed because the installation of the new facilities have to be done by the supplier themselves, according to City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña, who updated city council members on the status of the renovation last Dec. 6.

City Buildings and Architecture Officer Johnny Degay added that based on record, the installation is supposed to be undertaken by the foreign contractor but they had a hard time in the delivery of imported materials.

The project duration was also when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Dela Peña said the contractor has committed to finish the project by end of the month.

He said the installation of the lining of the pool is underway while the starting blocks and electronic touch pads that are connected to the digital board have already been installed.

He said they had to adjust the measure of the area of the Olympic-size swimming pool, which must be 50 meters as per standards, and compliance for such requirement needs to be checked and certified by a body accredited by the Philippine Sports Commission.

The project also includes the upgrading of shower rooms, locker rooms, toilets, LED monitors, touch pad device, and the piloting of a solar panel technology that should serve as power source for the lighting and heaters in a bid to reduce the facility’s electricity consumption.

However, City Sports Coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales said the solar panel so far has not been effective because instead of reducing the electricity bill, the expense shot up many times over.

“It’s not effective because when we tried operating it our bill increased. When we used the solar panels, the consumption was P300,000 per month but when we switched it off, the bill went down to at least P15,000 a month,” Gonzales said when quizzed by Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales.

Gonzales said the increased electricity usage may be because no battery or storage, where the energy generated by the solar panel can be stored, was installed.

Dela Peña confirmed the solar panel at the moment is not capable of operating the heaters but the solution is to find a circuit that will allow the solar panel to operate the heaters.

The solar panel is currently disabled.

Gonzales said athletes, who were previously training at the city’s swimming pool and are currently training at the St. Louis University and paying P1,000 each monthly, are clamoring for the reopening of the facility.

Once rehabilitated, athletes training for local, national, and international competitions will be given priority in the use of the pool complex but will allow walk-in clients when not in use. – Hanna C. Lacsamana