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by Al Williams

Ongoing maintenance issues with the steam room at the Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre (CBay) have authorities stumped.
The room remains closed as the Timaru District Council still has “no firm indication of the costs and the future opening date of the steam room”.
The Courier understands there have been problems with the facility for several months.
In a written statement, Timaru District Council community services manager Sharon Taylor said: “We have tried various solutions to fix these issues, but some persist.
“At the moment we are working with industry experts .. The steam room has fairly low demand and .. we are hopeful the public are not feeling too inconvenienced.”
The Courier asked when the issue had been identified, when and what maintenance had been carried out, the costs, the nature of the problems, when the steam room would reopen and if users had been offered compensation.
“As this is an ongoing issue and most of the work has been of an exploratory nature, we have no firm indication of the costs and the future opening date of the steam room,” Ms Taylor said.
The issue “appeared to be trapped moisture that manifests in drips of cold water from the roof”, she said.
“Since the steam room is not well utilised, and this would not show up in daily pre-opening checks, it is hard to gauge exactly when this became an issue.
“Initially we believed this water may have been overflow from the hydro slide which is directly above the steam room, but this isn’t the case. Specialists now believe the steam is condensing in the ceiling cavity and dripping through joins in the ceiling.”
The Courier asked for patronage numbers to the steam room, in light of Ms Taylor’s statement referring to the facility not being well utilised
“As there are a variety of different tickets and memberships which allow access to the chillax area, and as we only count the number of entries to the main pool area, it’s impossible to provide figures,” Ms Taylor responded.
“However, we know from staff on the ground that the steam room is the least used area of the chillax zone.”
The area features a sauna, spa pool and the steam room.
“We are not offering a discount, but customers are advised prior to purchasing a chillax ticket that the steam room is not currently operational,” Ms Taylor said.