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Major fix done to indoor pool

Materials have been removed from the ceiling of Carterton’s only indoor swimming after it was revealed they could fall. PHOTO/FILE

CHELSEA BOYLE

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An engineer’s report has revealed there was a significant risk that materials could fall from the ceiling of Carterton’s only indoor swimming pool.

The worst of it was removed last Saturday and the Carterton District Council (CDC) issued a media release alerting people to the “significant risk” two days later.

The indoor pool is owned and operated by the Carterton Swimming Club (CSC).

CSC president Dean Adams said that while they were putting up the temporary bracing in the building, they realised the state of it “was worse” than they thought.

An engineer’s report then revealed big problems on October 10. A decision was subsequently made to remove the worst tiles and battens.

Mr Adams said the information was passed to swimming academy operator, Russell Geange, who would have communicated that to people who used the space.

“We are communicating with him all the time about what we need to do and the chunk of time we need to do it,” Mr Adams said.

It was “a bit of a juggle” finding the time that suited everyone for the construction.

Communication with the wider public and health and safety were things they looked to the Carterton District Council for advice on.

“Obviously, the council have a number of people who are experts in that area [health and safety], who we are having conversations with about what we are doing and what the next step will be.

“For the most part, they are supportive of us continuing with what we are doing.”

People were suggesting things as they went along but “there had never been a point where anyone had said to us you must close this pool”.

They were making things safer every day, he said.

The pool had been closed temporarily during repairs.

Mr Adams said it would be an ongoing process. They were addressing the highest risks first, but he was happy with how they had handled things.

CDC chief executive Jane Davis said the council did not get a copy of the engineer’s report but she became aware of the issues about a week ago when she attended a committee meeting.

She said council was “really respectful they are a private club,” and was not looking to take over.

“It’s a private pool and they did communicate with the parents and their users [about the risks].

“They did that before they put any media statements out.”

But they had decided to do wider communications which was appropriate, she said.

“It’s a committee of parents, so they are not a professional committee.”

They had asked for a little bit for help, she said.

CDC helped with this particular media release but would not be taking over communications.

The council had agreed to help with water quality management.

It was not yet known how the two would work together in the future following the review of all the swimming pools in the Pembroke St complex.

“We haven’t yet landed on how we might run the two facilities.”

A draft report was expected to be done by Christmas, she said.

Carterton Deputy Mayor Russell Keys, the CDC liaison with CSC, said the council was assisting the club as they worked through their issues.

“We have offered to help them with their water treatment testing,” he said.

“And we have offered them some health and safety advice.”

The rest of it is up to their committee, he said.

“We think the committee is doing a really good job, and they are really trying to get it in hand.”

They were doing the best they could in the quickest time possible, he said.

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