ARARAT - The Ararat YMCA indoor pool will be closed from next Friday as major maintenance works are undertaken to ensure the vitality of the community asset and change rooms at the Ararat Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
The works will result in the pool being closed for four weeks from March 31 to April 28.
During this time, the indoor pool will be emptied so that the pool can be sanded back and repainted as part of the on-going maintenance.
Works will also occur to the pool plant and the change rooms will receive a facelift with new flooring and painting.
All other areas of the facility will remain open, including the gymnasium, stadium and gymnastics hall.
The project is being managed by Ararat Rural City Council and is the first time the pool will be closed in four years.
The indoor pool was last closed for major maintenance works in December 2010, at which time the ozone system was replaced as well as the pool painted and other minor works in the spa.
This type of major maintenance requires a shutdown as the pool needs to be emptied.
Chief executive officer Grampians Region YMCA Brooke LeSueur said Ararat residents will be the first to benefit from the major maintenance works once they are complete.
"The works will take four weeks, as the surface needs to be sanded back, then painted with three layers of paint and then have enough time to cure properly, refill the pool and get circulation and the plant operating again," she said.
"The changes that will be evident to people when they return to the water in April will be that the pool surface will be fresh and not have any lifting, or areas where the paint has worn.
"The change rooms will be painted and have new floor surfaces put down so they will also look fresh and updated."
While the indoor pool area is closed Ararat Rural City Council have arranged to have new vinyl flooring installed in both the men's and women's change-rooms.
There will also be other maintenance performed while the pool is closed.
News of the impending closure of the indoor swimming pool, although only temporary, will still be hard to bear for some people as the Ararat Outdoor Solar Olympic Swimming Pool also remains closed.
Ararat YMCA and Stawell Health and Fitness Centre manager, Samantha Winter said Ararat YMCA will provide people with a range of activities at the centre over the school holidays to compensate for the loss of the indoor pool.
"If you are worried about the pool being closed for this period, Ararat YMCA has included some extra activities that can be undertaken during this time," she said.
"For those of us who usually take part in water aerobics, we will be running a walking group Monday and Wednesday evening at 6pm.
"This will include stretches and strength exercises designed to mirror those that would normally be enjoyed in your water aerobics class.
"For those that normally come to our Tuesday and Thursday 10am Water Aerobics, we will also be running a walking group that will include exercises specifically designed for people who have difficulties with their knees, hips and backs. This will of course be followed by a cup of tea and footy tips.
"If you regularly go for a swim and are not sure what else you can do to keep yourself fit, please make an appointment with one of our health and fitness staff to discuss exercise options that suit your personal situation."
YMCA manage the indoor pool and sporting facilities under contract, on behalf of the Ararat Rural City Council.