Further step for pool upgrade

Design plan for complex to be developed this year.

Design plan for complex to be developed this year.

Olympic Pool. File picture

AFTER being discussed and debated “since last century”, an agreement has been reached to redevelop Gisborne’s ageing Olympic Pool complex, with a plan expected to be drawn up before the end of the year.

At Gisborne District Council’s regular meeting yesterday, councillors voted unanimously to accept a business case study’s recommendations that a design concept for a renovated Olympic Pool complex be drawn up.

Although the study’s authors told councillors that the region had been able to extend the facility’s life-span considerably, through good management, much of the complex, built in 1974, was nearing its “end of life” within the next decade.

The key issue for the complex was the state of repair of the roof on the covered pool.

It was also pointed out that delaying repairs further would just increase the final price, due to inflation of commercial construction prices, and that for between $13m and $17m the council would be able to receive a “good payback” from the revitalised complex.

Councillor Brian Wilson said the aim would be to increase patronage in the winter months, and the final design of the revamped complex would be crucial to its success.

“Having all those elements separated, like the way the diving pool is a long way from the main pool, and having all the other parts all over the place — it’s a bit of a dog’s breakfast in way. So, the aim should be to bring as many elements together under one roof to make it usable throughout the year.

“To me this is good preparation work, but it’s the next phase that will really determine what we’re up for.”

Amber Dunn said reinvesting in the complex was a “no-brainer” but questioned why there was a need for the council to provide a learn to swim service when there was already a successful, not-for-profit, operation providing the service.

Andy Cranston said through the annual plan consultation meetings in March, the pool was identified as being at the top of the list of people’s needs.

“I think this was first investigated last century. It fell over because the effort wasn’t put in to get on with it.

“We have discussed this for years and years and we need to get to a stage where we can get it in there and get on with it.”

Pat Seymour agreed.

“We have looked at many scenarios and it’s time we got on with it.”

However, she asked the council to give “some urgency” to consultation along with a commitment from management to keep to a timeframe for inclusion in the 2018 long-term plan process.

Shannon Dowsing pointed out that if the council was expected to provide a third of the funding, it would put the council over its debt cap.

Fundraising and grant money would be sought for the remainder of the costs.

The council resolved to authorise staff to prepare a concept design for the Olympic Pool Redevelopment Project, with input from the community’s key stakeholders.

It also agreed to consult with the community about the proposed Olympic Pool Redevelopment Project in the 2018-2028 long-term plan preparation process.

AFTER being discussed and debated “since last century”, an agreement has been reached to redevelop Gisborne’s ageing Olympic Pool complex, with a plan expected to be drawn up before the end of the year.

At Gisborne District Council’s regular meeting yesterday, councillors voted unanimously to accept a business case study’s recommendations that a design concept for a renovated Olympic Pool complex be drawn up.

Although the study’s authors told councillors that the region had been able to extend the facility’s life-span considerably, through good management, much of the complex, built in 1974, was nearing its “end of life” within the next decade.

The key issue for the complex was the state of repair of the roof on the covered pool.

It was also pointed out that delaying repairs further would just increase the final price, due to inflation of commercial construction prices, and that for between $13m and $17m the council would be able to receive a “good payback” from the revitalised complex.

Councillor Brian Wilson said the aim would be to increase patronage in the winter months, and the final design of the revamped complex would be crucial to its success.

“Having all those elements separated, like the way the diving pool is a long way from the main pool, and having all the other parts all over the place — it’s a bit of a dog’s breakfast in way. So, the aim should be to bring as many elements together under one roof to make it usable throughout the year.

“To me this is good preparation work, but it’s the next phase that will really determine what we’re up for.”

Amber Dunn said reinvesting in the complex was a “no-brainer” but questioned why there was a need for the council to provide a learn to swim service when there was already a successful, not-for-profit, operation providing the service.

Andy Cranston said through the annual plan consultation meetings in March, the pool was identified as being at the top of the list of people’s needs.

“I think this was first investigated last century. It fell over because the effort wasn’t put in to get on with it.

“We have discussed this for years and years and we need to get to a stage where we can get it in there and get on with it.”

Pat Seymour agreed.

“We have looked at many scenarios and it’s time we got on with it.”

However, she asked the council to give “some urgency” to consultation along with a commitment from management to keep to a timeframe for inclusion in the 2018 long-term plan process.

Shannon Dowsing pointed out that if the council was expected to provide a third of the funding, it would put the council over its debt cap.

Fundraising and grant money would be sought for the remainder of the costs.

The council resolved to authorise staff to prepare a concept design for the Olympic Pool Redevelopment Project, with input from the community’s key stakeholders.

It also agreed to consult with the community about the proposed Olympic Pool Redevelopment Project in the 2018-2028 long-term plan preparation process.

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