Sidebar: Pool facts:
■ Indicative cost $3.7 million for pools, sprung structure, landscaping and carparks.
■ Tararua District Council's contribution $600,000.
■ A pool facility manager, five lifeguards and Learn to Swim instructors will man the facility.
■ People interested in helping with fundraising should register at the Bush Multisport office.
Debate on the future of Pahiatua's aquatic facilities has been ongoing for a number of years with the current outdoor pool, built in 1911, well past its use-by date.
Refurbishment and enhancement of the Pahiatua Community Pool would have required an extensive upgrade. But Pahiatua on Track realised while the current outdoor pool was unheated and with no access ramps, capital costs and running costs for a new pool design needed to be affordable.
An independent study confirmed Pahiatua and Districts should have a 12-month heated, indoor pool to meet health, educational, sports and social needs in the wider community, while being a cost-effective all-weather option.
In what is likely to be a first for New Zealand, if successful in securing external funding Pahiatua is to get a high-performance, tensioned membrane structural system enclosing the pool, offering long term quality, high durability and very high insulation.
The system is used throughout Canada and is comprised of materials that are strong and highly durable in an aquatic environment – aluminium and modern high-performance PVC.
This Sprung system offers integrated retractable doors allowing the side to open up to form a connection to the external environment, along with integrated translucent roof sections to increase natural light.
The system is light and very fast to install which reduces building costs, compared to a normal indoor facility and with heating costs far less than an outdoor, heated pool.
The new pool will be operational and heated 12 months of the year, with a 25-metre, six-lane pool with 2m lane width and learn to swim/hydrotherapy/toddler pools.
"From the community survey we are confident what we are now proposing will meet people's needs," Louise Powick, Pahiatua on Track chairwoman, said.
Pahiatua on Track has almost finalised details of the design working with Toby Mason, project manager and pool designer.
Once funding is secured, construction time is estimated to be 7-8 months, which could leave just two summers left to swim in the current community pool.
"We have gone to two contractors for cost estimates – one in Waipukurau and another in Palmerston North," Louise said.
Louise said the new Sprung pool cannot be compared to a traditional pool hall as it will not be fully climate-controlled, but will have ventilation.
"The pool temperature itself will be 27C, equivalent to all indoor complexes and will enable swimming 12-months of the year," she said.
"In the winter the air temperature will be a little cooler and there may be some condensation. In summer there will be three roller doors which can be opened to help regulate air temperature.
"This is a great outcome."
Geotech work has been done on the new site for the pool beside Pahiatua's Wheel Park and Louise said this centralised location will work well for the community and consolidate the recreational hub with the Bush Multisport complex.
Currently, the business case study to form the basis of funding applications is being finalised and Louise said these applications should be started in May.
"We are working alongside Sport NZ and Sport Manawatu, and in conjunction with Bush Multisports who have a great rapport with funders too," she said. "Post Covid there is more money available in the health and wellbeing space."
Many Pahiatua families travel out of town for learn to swim lessons and Louise said the ability to learn to swim in their own town year-round will be tremendous.
"This is really important as a lot of people and youngsters swim in our rivers and we also have a portion of our population who need swimming for therapeutic reasons.
"I feel we have landed in a sweet spot with this new design and many of us never thought we would get to this stage. Our community really appreciates the opportunity council has given us to realise this."
Tararua District councillor Raylene Treder said Pahiatua is currently the envy of many other towns in New Zealand because of its Bush Multisport facilities.
"With the build of a 12-month Sprung heated pool located at Bush Multisports Park it will be the icing on the cake," she said.
"The pool will provide the local community and surrounding districts with another facility encouraging physical activity, recreation and social interaction in a safe environment.
"Being involved in this project has been a huge highlight and I can't wait for the funding to be obtained for the build to begin."