Parks & Recreation Updates

Posted on: August 19, 2016

Edison Johnson Aquatic Center closing early this fall for renovations

Edison Johnson Aquatic Center (EJAC) will be closing early this fall, due to the dehumidification unit needing replacement sooner than anticipated. EJAC will close no later than November 7, 2016 and remain closed until mid-February.

In 2015, the City of Durham Pool Assessment Study identified that EJAC and the Campus Hills Pool would each need a new dehumidification unit (often called a Dectron) in 2017. Although the Dectron was originally scheduled to be replaced at EJAC in February to accommodate swim seasons and community activities, a malfunction of the unit accelerated the closure to ensure a safe environment for all swimmers.

Each indoor pool and aquatic center has custom built units that regulate humidity, pool temperature, and chloramine levels; which can cause respiratory problems, inflammation, or infection. EJAC has been able to capitalize on the hot weather to exhaust and warm the pool areas by opening doors and using fans, making it safe for general use. However, with the change of temperatures and upcoming swim season’s increased utilization this will no longer allow the temporary solution to be reliably effective.

Because the EJAC Dectron unit controls water temperature, closure will most likely be determined by cold water temperatures (considered 72 degrees and below) before the increase in chloramine levels becomes a concern. The safety of community members and the swimming environment is the highest priority to Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR). Staff will monitor the conditions regularly while the facility remains open, and should conditions change at any point, the pool area will be closed immediately.

DPR staff has found alternative locations for all swim teams impacted by this closure and other arrangements have been made to accommodate community aquatic needs at Campus Hills Pool.

“It is our goal to always serve our residents with the best programming possible,” said Rhonda B. Parker, director of DPR. “We worked with several community partners such as Duke University and Durham Public Schools to ensure that our patrons continue to have a safe and enjoyable recreation experience during the closure.”

During this shutdown, EJAC will also conduct routine maintenance, including new lights and fresh paint. For the most accurate and up to date information, please visit www.dprplaymore.org before coming to EJAC.

Proactively, DPR is working on an Aquatics Facility Master Plan. This plan will address the needs of the community for aquatic facilities in the near and long term. There will be opportunities for community members to weigh in on their aquatic priorities within the City, and help develop the proper facilities that will help prevent these closure inconveniences from happening in the future.

To contribute to the Aquatics Facility Master Plan, you can fill out a survey or attend an Aquatic Facility Master Plan workshop to share thoughts and opinions in person. The latest information related to the plan is available at splashdurham.info.

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