Matamata Swim Zone pool complex has closed many of its indoor facilities after Matamata-Piako District Council learned the building would not be safe in the event of an earthquake.
From today the indoor pool, indoor changing facilities and spa will close and all planned upgrades, including the painting of the pool are on hold.
The Fit Zone, squash facilities, heated outdoor pool and outdoor changing facilities will remain open during normal opening hours. The toddler and dive pools are being filled and heated as quickly as possible.
Aqua classes are on hold until the dive pool is in operation and a final decision regarding learn to swim classes hasn't been made yet.
Council CEO Don McLeod said: "While there's a low likelihood of an earthquake of a magnitude that would pose a threat, it's important people know what we have identified and understand what issues council is faced with."
The swimming pool complex was built over a period of 30 to 40 years from the 1960s onwards. The current indoor pool roof was finished in the late 1980s.
McLeod said an indoor pool creates a challenging environment due to the heat, and high moisture and chlorine levels. "We've known for some time the rafters needed to be replaced. What we didn't know is the whole support system that holds the roof in place doesn't meet today's building code for earthquakes."
The Matamata pool has areas ranging between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of today's New Building Earthquake Standard score.
A review has revealed that the pool's entire roof support system needs replacing, from the foundations up.
McLeod said that it is too early to know how this issue will be addressed but it is being treated with urgency.
On Matamata-Piako District Council's Facebook page Naretta Aspinall commented that she doesn't doubt the necessity of the closing. "However, the ceiling over the indoor pool has been supported by jacks for over a year, beginning during lockdown. Why the implied surprise and urgency?"
Council said they have been aware that the rafters and structure needed replacing. "What we didn't know was that the whole support system didn't meet the minimum building code for earthquakes. Our building is at risk in an earthquake and while the risk is low, it's not a risk we are willing to take with our staff and community."
While the Matamata indoor facilities are closed, customers can continue to use concession cards and memberships at the outdoor pools or go to the Swim Zone Te Aroha pool where they are also valid. However, customers can request reimbursement given the change to the operating facilities.
When using the Matamata outdoor pools, customers should enter through the main reception and walk through to the outdoor pool area. Swim Zone staff will be there to assist.
Good news on the pool front for Waipa residents: The new Cambridge pool complex, just over half an hour away from Matamata, will open for the public mid-May and be named Perry Aquatic Centre - Puna Kaukau O Te Oko Horoi.
The name has been chosen in acknowledgement of the Brian Perry Charitable Trust's $300,000 donation towards construction of the pool.