Study calls for more pool space

By Victoria White

10 comments
Napier is in need of a new swimming pool and adding more swimming space to the Napier Aquatic Centre would be the ideal solution.
Napier is in need of a new swimming pool and adding more swimming space to the Napier Aquatic Centre would be the ideal solution.

Swimmers could be diving into a multi-million dollar 50m swimming pool in Napier within a few years.

A Napier City Council study completed this year has recommended the council should be looking to add more swimming space to the Napier Aquatic Centre.

This could mean adding lanes to the existing two 25m pools or demolishing the "old pool" and replacing it with a brand new 25 or 50 metre pool, as stated in the council's draft annual plan for 2016-2017.

The draft report said: "Such a pool could cost $10 million to $20 million to build depending on the type of facility constructed and how it is integrated to the rest of the complex. Total running costs will increase of course but not as much as that of a new stand-alone facility elsewhere."

There is just one 50m pool in Hawke's Bay, located at Frimley Pool in Hastings, and the council's 2015 Napier Aquatics Strategy identified a shortfall of three 25m by 16m pools in Hawke's Bay based on an analysis to meet current and future demand.

Council community development manager Antoinette Campbell said there had been quite a lot of investigation done in the "pool space", and there might be more pressure placed on the aquatic centre in future.

She said the council also received submissions from the community every year asking for more pool space or for improving existing spaces.

The Napier Aquatic Centre did have a 50m Olympic pool until it was closed in 2007 and demolished in 2010 due to its deteriorating condition and high maintenance costs.

A business case, which Ms Campbell hoped would be completed by the end of the year, will investigate whether Napier needs a brand new 25 or 50 metre pool, and would also look at construction, cost, and funding sources.

Ms Campbell said as it was a new pool it would need new capital funding, and she said it would be great to have this funding allocated in the 2018 Long Term Plan.

Council already has $1.5 million earmarked for swimming pools from the 2014-2015 year end surplus. The proposed business case is one of the items in the consultation document for the Annual Plan, which councillors will be asked at their general meeting today to adopt. A rating increase of 3.59 per cent is also proposed in the document.

Other highlights in the consultation document include the proposed repair of the Old Embankment Rd Bridge at a cost of $1.5 million, and the possible upgrades of Anderson Park and Taradale stormwater at a cost of $1 million and $1.4 million respectively.

If people would like to view the consultation document or make a submission to the council on it, visit www. napier.govt.nz and follow the links.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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