Cost of work at pools may rise

By Lawrence Gullery

The Frimley Aquatic Centre needs major repairs which may cost more than the $500,000 initially set aside for its upgrade two years ago by owner the Hastings District Council.

The centre's buildings are on the limit of being declared "earthquake prone" and need to be seismically strengthened to at least 67 per cent of the new building standards.

The pools' condition is poor and repairs, re-plastering and painting are needed. The sanitary fixtures and fittings also need to be upgraded, while the pools' filtration rates should be brought up to national standards.

The centre's pool heating system was disconnected a number of years ago and there are questions about whether it should be restarted for some of the pools.

The critical points were omitted by the original scope of work earmarked for the centre's upgrade but were raised by a new report handed to the council's works and services committee.

The report from the council's community-facilities manager, Craig Thew, said work on Frimley had been scheduled to start this winter but would now be delayed until the scope of work was confirmed.

It was possible the work would be completed in winter 2014.

The council set aside $5.7 million to upgrade four of its six aquatic centres, including Waterworld in Flaxmere, Havelock North Village Pool, Clive War Memorial Pool and Frimley.

It had finished work on Havelock North last year and Waterworld this month. A total of $2.8 million was left for upgrades on the pools at Frimley and Clive. Another $220,240 was allowed for Windsor Park pool to be removed in 2015/16, although the council may consider allowing neighbouring Karamu High School to continue using it.

Mr Thew said the scope of work needed to upgrade Frimley would be reported to the council after the final design and tender for the Clive pool was completed.

Councillor Rod Heaps, who is on the Clive Memorial Swimming Pool Trust, said the council still wanted to pursue its plan to have one governance group manage all of its public pools.

"The idea is still on the table but hasn't come to fruition yet. We have been working with all of the trusts with all of the pools, they have never been happy about the idea but there are benefits for all with an overall governance model," he said.

The concept included a season pass and concession card valid for use at all public swimming pools in Hastings. There would be a united marketing plan for the pools and their programmes, with fees and charges consistent across the network of aquatic centres.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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