LOW MOOR — Aquatics facilities at the Alleghany Highlands YMCA will close briefly later this month for the installation of a new dehumidification system.
The YMCA’s indoor pool deck, pool, spa and sauna will be closed to the public from Monday, March 20, through Monday, April 2, for the replacement of the air handling and ventilation unit for the indoor pool deck.
“Looking to the future of our YMCA, we want to ensure that our patrons and employees alike have an enjoyable experience inside our pool deck,” said YMCA aquatics director Trevor Barron. “This includes scheduled maintenance and/or capital repairs to certain parts of the building.”
The current dehumidification system has served the YMCA since the pool opened in 2007. Most systems of this nature generally last approximately 10 years.
“While it seems counter-intuitive for a pool to have a dehumidification system, this equipment keeps water from running down the walls and creating an unhealthy environment for the building and its patrons,” explained Jennifer Unroe, executive director of the Alleghany Highlands YMCA. “The YMCA was at the point where its board and staff believed that funding continued costly repairs was not a responsible use of resources.”
A building automation system will be installed at the same time as the dehumidification system. This will allow YMCA staff to adjust control settings as needed, to be able to view the status of the pool’s rooftop HVAC equipment and to more quickly detect any performance issues with rooftop equipment.
“We are excited to install a dehumidification system that uses fans instead of compressors and takes advantage of outside air whenever possible to achieve the air handling goals in a less costly manner,” Unroe added. “A building automation system will also link the air heating and dehumidification controls so system errors and changes can be managed more efficiently.”
The pool at the Alleghany Highlands YMCA is used for many purposes. It is utilized for therapy and water aerobics along with swim lessons and swim team activities for children. It also serves as the host for area high school swim practices and meets. Safety Around Water classes for area elementary students are taught by YMCA lifeguards in the pool.
“The cost of pool operations is quite high, even more so in the management of an indoor facility in which air heating and dehumidification are considerations,” Unroe said.
Funding for these upgrades was provided through a grant from The Alleghany Foundation. This project is one of the largest capital outlays in the history of the YMCA.
“We understand the inconvenience this will create for many of our patrons and employees, alike, who rely on our pool for their exercise and therapeutic needs, however, this repair is essential for the longevity of the building and to make sure the pool can continue to serve the needs of the Alleghany Highlands for years to come,” Barron said.
“We appreciate The Alleghany Foundation’s continued support of the YMCA and our commitment to the children, families and underserved residents of the Highlands,” Unroe concluded.