An extensive upgrade of the Temuka community swimming pool is on track to meet its scheduled opening date, despite earlier fears that the Covid-19 pandemic would hold up delivery of a custom-made pool liner from Italy.
“The pool parts ended up arriving a little later than planned [October 2] due to shipping delays but the contractors have caught up to where they need to be and we are very happy with progress,Council recreation facilities manager Craig Motley said.
The $1.3million project, begun at the end of the last swimming season, replaces an original pool earmarked for replacement since the concrete was found to be deteriorating about five years ago.
The six-lane, 33.33m pool has been shortened to 25m, making it eligible to host official swimming competitions, while a new 6m by 12m learners’ pool has been added. New filtration plant has been installed along with an electric heat-exchanger heating system for the learners’ pool.
The existing heat exchanger, which is only a few years old, will be reused for the large pool.
Vital to the project was the custom-built Italian liner system, which Mr Motley described as a “kitset” of coated stainless steel panels which fit inside the basic concrete structure to waterproof it.
Similar liners had been used in the district’s other two community pools, Geraldine and Pleasant Point.
Mr Motley hoped to fill the pool at the weekend of November 7-8 and start the heating and filtration systems the next week, in time for the traditional opening day for the district’s outdoor pools Canterbury Show Day, which this year will be November 13.
“We have site meetings every week now that we’re in the near-completion stage, so we just really need to confirm that everything’s going to be sweet and we’ll be away.”
Temuka Community Board chairman Paddy O’Reilly, said he was “very much pleased” with the outcome.
“I’m pretty impressed with it, with the way it’s all gone.
“Covid could easily have held it up and at one stage we actually thought that it [the liner] mightn’t get here.”
Townsfolk were excited with the project, Mr O’Reilly said.
“The ones I run into say the pool’s looking good. There’s a good vibe out there.”
There would have to be an official celebratory opening, but nothing was yet planned.
He had previously said he might “do a bomb of some sort”, but hoped he would not be held to that.
Mr O’Reilly was also hoping to follow up with some renovation of the changing rooms and other facilities.
“All the buildings just need a little bit of TLC, just a little paint and a few things.
“The building is 50 years old so it’s showing its wear and tear.
“Once the pool’s done we’ll see if we’ve got any money left over and we might be able to do something.”