A breakdown of the air conditioning unit at the Bracebridge Sportsplex has resulted in uncomfortable temperatures at the facility this summer and it’s unlikely there will be much relief until cooler fall temperatures arrive. However, a decision by the Town’s general committee means patrons are unlikely to endure another summer of sweltering temperatures in 2023.
During their latest meeting, the committee heard that the rooftop chiller, which provides AC to the building, has reached the end of its lifespan.
The pricetag to purchase and install the chiller unit at the Sportsplex is estimated at $330,000 but the cost is expected to be shared with the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, who operates Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School in the same building. Council heard from staff that in order to have the chiller units installed prior to summer of 2023, the tender needs to be awarded by early October 2022.
The problems started on May 5, 2022, when Mikrand Mechanical came to the Sportsplex to complete the annual chiller start-up. Upon start-up, an error message appeared on the unit which required a technical advisor to diagnose. Several unsuccessful attempts to repair the chiller followed and on August 3, 2022 it was decided that the chiller was non-repairable and it was decommissioned. It’s estimated the unsuccessful attempts to repair the unit cost $44,200.
To mitigate the warm temperatures in the Sportsplex, additional fans were placed throughout the facility and a small portable air conditioner was placed in the group fitness studio. Even with the mitigation measures, the temperatures in the Sportsplex averaged between 24 and 29 degrees.
As a result, portable air conditioning units have been rented and installed in the administration arena, program spaces and the auditorium. Unfortunately, the units cannot cool the lobby, track and gymnastic area due to the size of these spaces. The cost associated with the rental of the portable units is approximately $7,000, plus HST, per 28 days.
Staff indicated that once the average outdoor temperatures begin to lower, the units will be returned.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!