Tepid baths ready to entertain new generation

The historic 98-year-old inner-city pools open again after a $15.8m makeover.

Lifeguard Jamilah Hudson is ready for business in the newly opened baths. Picture / Greg Bowker
Lifeguard Jamilah Hudson is ready for business in the newly opened baths. Picture / Greg Bowker

Veteran swimmer Barry Young is ecstatic that his wait is over.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee has been up and down the lanes at the Tepid Baths many times since 1976, but says swimming in the new baths will be extra special.

"I started swimming there every lunchtime. For years I swam with a group of guys who I didn't know outside of the Teps."

Young, who holds 13 world swimming masters records in the 70-74 age group, has fond memories of the baths.

One was the attempt by marathon swimmer Sandra Blewett to go nonstop for 24 hours during a fund-raising telethon.

New memories will be created for the next generation of Aucklanders starting today when the Tepid Baths reopen to the public. They still have all the charm of the previous indoor pools, with the addition of modern features.

Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers said the $15.8 million cost of the refurbishment was worth it, as generations of Aucklanders had enjoyed the baths since they opened almost a century ago.

"This is an exciting occasion for those of us that know and love the Tepid Baths," said Mr Chambers.

"It is wonderful to see this historic building restored to its former glory for the benefit of all of Auckland and for people that live, work and play in the city centre to have a sleek and modern swimming pool and fitness centre at their disposal."

Mayor Len Brown said the Tepid Baths held a special connection to a lot of people in the city.

The baths opened in December 1914 on reclaimed harbour land at a cost of £10,670.

The new Tepid Baths have a gym with wheelchair-friendly cardio machines, a widened main pool and reintroduction of cabanas which match the 1914 design.

The public can walk through today at 11am. There will be a free sausage sizzle on Customs St.

Mr Brown will then officially reopen the 98-year-old baths at midday, followed by a symbolic breaking of the water by two swimmers.

Free access for swimmers under 16 - a council policy - does not apply to the pools, but a council spokesman said that the matter was under review.

New Tepid Baths

* Seven 25m lanes

* One 15m teaching pool

Prices: Adult $6.50 Child $4 Senior/Student $5.20

Hours:

Monday-Friday 5.30am-9pm
Weekends 7am-7pm
Public holidays 10am-6pm

- NZ Herald

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