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No cheap option for pools

Carterton Swimming Club’s facilities on Pembroke St need urgent replacement or rehabilitation. PHOTO/FILE

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A solution for Carterton’s deteriorating indoor swimming pool could see the end of free outdoor swimming and cost up to $10.3 million.

Urgent remedial work was carried out last year at the indoor pool to prevent ceiling panels dropping on to pool users, after a report outlined significant risk of acoustic panels and supporting battens falling.

An investigation into redevelopment options for adjacent indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities has now been completed.

The Carterton Swimming Club will decide which option to present to Carterton District Council, from which the club leases the land.

The club, which owns and operates the indoor pool, was assisted by the council in providing the report, which outlines two preferred options for the fate of both pools.

The council owns the outdoor pool and shared changing facilities.

The option most likely to find favour with the council is for the club to retain the existing pools, with a new structure over the indoor pool. The outdoor pool would remain where it is, with shared outdoor changing room facilities upgraded – all at a cost of $2.7m.

This is dependent on the club deciding if it can determine a sustainable operating business model and come up with funding.

The other preferred option would involve decommissioning both existing indoor and outdoor facilities to build a new aquatic facility at a cost of $10.3m.

This would have the council sell the land the existing facilities are on, with the facility owned and managed by the council. This would spell the end of free outdoor summer swimming.

Deputy Mayor Russell Keys has been overseeing the project as part of an advisory group, and said there would be extensive consultation before any decisions would be made.

There was already $314,700 set aside in the 2017/18 budget for the changing room strengthening, but any funding for a new facility would need to be provided by ratepayers.

“We still have to cost it properly and go out for public consultation, to see if there’s an appetite for it,” Keys said.

“It’s still a long way in the future.”

He said council was waiting for the swim club to present its preferred option before next steps would be taken.

The report, released as part of today’s ordinary council meeting agenda, revealed that the indoor pools had deteriorated significantly over a period of years.

Many of the building’s assets were rated as being in poor condition, requiring urgent replacement or rehabilitation.

This includes the building structure steelwork, timber roof rafters, painted surfaces, internal walls, solar heating system, toilets, changing rooms, building ventilation, and overall earthquake rating.

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