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Community feedback has prompted Waipa District Council to propose bringing forward plans to radically improve the pool complex. Pending approval of the draft 10-Year Plan in June, and a successful fundraising programme, the pool could be completed as early as 2018/2019.
The change has been driven by community feedback received before Christmas when the Council asked for comment on three pool options ranging in cost from $500,000 to more than $15 million.
Most people supported a $6 -8 million option to upgrade the plant and changing facilities at the existing 50 meter pool plus build a new indoor 25 meter pool and learner’s pool. This would offer Cambridge, which looks set to grow to 25,000 people within the next 25-30 years, a year-round 25 meter swimming facility.
Mayor Jim Mylchreest said at this stage his council also supported this option and had received a very strong message; to simply “get on with it”.
“We can do that if that’s what people want and are prepared to pay for. But bringing the pool project forward will mean delaying some intersection upgrades in Cambridge. We simply can’t afford to do both things at once and it would allow us to better assess the impacts of the Waikato Expressway on Cambridge’s traffic.”
If the pool project was pushed forward, intersections upgrades would be delayed at Hamilton Rd/ Hamlin Rd (Avantidrome), Hamilton Rd/Victoria St, Victoria St/Queen St, Queen St/Albert St, Peake Rd/Bruntwood Rd/ Pickering Rd, Peake Rd/ Hautapu Rd, Peake Rd/Racecourse Rd, Hannon Rd/ Racecourse Rd, Fencourt Rd/ Hogan Rd and Watkins Rd /Zigzag Rd.
The Council was continuing discussions with the NZ Transport Agency about potentially funding some work.
Mr Mylchreest stressed the Cambridge pool project was reliant on the community raising just over $1 million and on the Council selling council-owned land in Cambridge to raise an additional $3 million. The remaining funds would come from development contributions ($150,000) and a $2.8 million loan.
Since the three options were discussed with the community before Christmas, a further option has emerged and will also be outlined in the draft 10-Year Plan for public comment. That option, also estimated to cost between $6 - $8 million, involves refurbishing the existing 50 meter pool and learner’s pool and enclosing both in a new building to provide year-round swimming. Dividers would be used in the big pool to allow different activities at the same time.
Mr Mylchreest said the Council would be looking for further feedback from the community when the draft 10-Year Plan was released in early March. It would contain more details on all four pool options, plus other proposals for the district.
People will be able to make formal comment on on the plan until mid-April. The plan would not be finalised until June this year.
All media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of council) 027 507 7599