Cambridge pool redevelopment

​​ Cambridge Pool redevelopment A new pool complex, to complement the existing 50m outdoor pool, is being built in Cambridge.

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December 2018 updates

Money rolls in for Cambridge pool

Just over a year away from opening its doors, the Cambridge Pool is getting close to its $2 million fundraising target. There’s been a recent boost in funding thanks to a $100,000 donation from the John and Glenice Gallagher Trust and a further $200,000 from the Grassroots Trust - a trust that supports community projects.

Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the final fundraising target is close enough to “sniff” and he was confident the final goal would be met.

“We have had tremendous help from the community and that is a reflection of the enormous support for the pool project, not just in Cambridge but beyond, ” Mylchreest said.

Meanwhile, work continues at pace at the construction site with excavation nearly complete, underground services being installed in the coming weeks and foundations laid early next year.

“The community will see steady progress within the next few months with the facility really starting to take shape,” Mylchreest said. “We’re confident the design and the extra services we’ve worked hard to include, like the hydrotherapy pool and splash pad, will make the wait well worth it.”

​​Donations previously received for the Cambridge Pool include $400,000 from Trust Waikato, $300,000 from the Brian Perry Charitable Trust, $300,000 from the Lotteries Commission, $80,000 from ASB Bank, $80,000 from CR Developments, $100,000 from Frances Skeet Trust, $15,000 from Shoof International Limited, $20,000 from Shaw’s Wire Ropes, $100,000 from Cambridge Lions Club and $6,000 from local real estate agents Karen Grootscholten and Kelly Grice. APL donated $100,000 of in-kind services and an anonymous donor dropped off a cheque for $20,000 to the Cambridge council office. ​

Free bus service to Te Awamutu pool

Council will put on free buses this summer so Cambridge people can use the Livingstone Aquatic Centre in Te Awamutu while Cambridge’s public pool is closed for major redevelopment. There is no charge and seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

  • Cambridge: Departing at 8.30am and 12.30pm ​from near the i-SITE at the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets
  • Te Awamutu: Departing at 11.30am and 4.30pm from near the i-SITE on Gorst Ave
​10 December​​12 December​​14 December
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​​14 January​​16 January​18 January

The service will not run over the Christmas and New Year period, resuming again on Monday 7 January. If it proves popular, and there’s ongoing demand, Council may consider extending the end date past Friday 18 January.

Free bus service to Te Awamutu pool from Cambridge

October 2018 update

Construction contract confirmed

Waipa District Council has confirmed that cost increases for the Cambridge pool project will be covered from property sales and will not increase rates.

Council has entered into a $17.6 million fixed-price contract to build the long-awaited pool complex – an increase of $1.6 million on the construction works forecast 18 months ago. Material and fuel price increases, a stretched sub-contractor market and an unwillingness to take on risk have pushed the price up.  The total project budget is now $20.7 million, this includes all professional services, planning and consent costs, fit-out (furniture, equipment) and solar power for the building.

Read more: Media release - No rates increase from pool costs .

Questions and answers about the project costs

Was Council too light when we set the original budget?

No. The original construction budget was benchmarked against other pool projects across the country.

It allowed for an inflated market and an increase in the cost of materials. However, the significant change in the sub-contractor market was not anticipated, including by the construction sector itself.  It wasn’t until the sub-contracting market was fully tested again in May 2018 that the full impact of the changed market conditions became clear.

Why did Council not re-tender the work?

This was an option that was considered by Council. There was no guarantee that re-tendering would result in a lower price. There was in fact a significant risk that the price would be higher.

Re-tendering the work would also have pushed the timeframe out by at least another six months, potentially missing another summer season. 

Did Council consider putting the whole project on hold?

Yes. This was one of the options put forward but it was quickly discounted by Council. The community has made its expectations very clear.

How much will the pool cost to build now?

The pool will cost $17.6 million. The cost is fixed and will not change.  

What will $17.6 million buy?

It will cover all the components agreed with the community including an upgrade of the existing outdoor pool, a new 10-lane indoor pool and learner’s pool, a hydrotherapy pool, spa and sauna, a children’s splash pad, increased seating, and a community room, as well as car-parking and landscaping.

Who has the contract been awarded to?

Naylor Love.

Are local sub-contractors being used?

Yes, with the exception of specialist pool services which cannot be sourced locally.

What impact will the increase in cost have on rates?

There will be no increase in rates. The additional costs will be covered by Council land sales in Cambridge which are returning more than anticipated.

When will the pool be opened?

The Cambridge pool now has an opening date of March 2020. This is three months behind the original deadline. The project was delayed while we tested and researched the sub-contracting market to ensure we had enough information to make the right decisions moving forward.

Can you break down the components of the fixed price contract with Naylor Love?

No, that information is commercially sensitive. The $17.6 million is the total cost.

Why did Council not consult with the community about the change in price?

Legal advice is that we did not need to consult because we are not proposing any increase in rates and we are not changing the scope of the project or level of service. Consulting would’ve added an additional two months to the project completion.

June 2018 update

It’s been all action at the Cambridge pool site with demolition now done and dusted.

Demolition began immediately after the site was blessed and now the plant room, men’s changing rooms, BBQ area and existing toddler pool have been demolished. All the concrete removed as part of demolition will be crushed on-site and used as backfill material in the new build.

Excavation work will be underway soon with major construction on-track for the end of July.

May 2018 update 

Demolition is underway at the Cambridge pool complex. Demolition is expected to take four weeks with major construction planned for the end of June.

Here are the latest concept images of the Cambridge Pool redevelopment:

Plans have also been shared for Williamson Street to accomodate all road users, including cyclists, mobility scooters and kids on bikes. Check out the plan for Williamson Street .

The Cambridge Pool complex is being upgraded to include an upgrade of the existing outdoor pool, a new 10-lane indoor pool and learner’s pool, a hydrotherapy pool, spa and sauna and a children’s splash pad. There will be increased seating and a community room as well as car-parking and landscaping

The existing pool will be open for a shortened season this summer until Sunday 25 February 2018. The complex will then close until the new facility reopens at the end of 2019.

The pool relies on $2.1 million of community fundraising - $1.395  million has already been raised.


Council’s objective for the pool complex is:

“To provide a fun and leisure destination that is affordable, accessible and durable in terms of meeting growth expectations and not compromising quality of experience.”

The story of the Cambridge pool runs over five decades. Cambridge currently has an outdoor 50m pool which is only open during the summer months. It was opened in 1971, after much fundraising by the local community and swimming club.

The current outdoor pool is managed by Go Waipa (the Waipa Community Facilities Trust) who also manage the Livingstone Aquatics Centre in Te Awamutu.

Initial development plans 

In June 2015, Waipa District Council approved a project that would see a covered pool built next to the existing outdoor pool. This meant that year-round swimming would be available.

The project was consulted on as part of the 2015-25 10-Year Plan and included:

  • keeping the outdoor 50m pool (and upgrading the current filtration plant and changing room facilities) as well as
  • building a new indoor 25m pool and
  • an indoor learner’s pool.

The 25m indoor pool was either going to be 8 or 10 lane, depending on the amount of fundraising secured. The scope didn’t include any update to the existing reception area and entrance, or any allowance in cost for roadworks, carparking and landscaping surrounding the complex.

The complex was going to be funded by a mixture of loan funding ($4.6m), proceeds from land sales ($3m), development contributions ($150,000) and fundraising ($2.1m). The total budget for this was $9.9m but it’s important to note that this was based on estimates as Council was in very early stages of the project planning.

Revision of scope

After the project was approved in the 10-Year Plan, Council received lots of feedback from pool user groups about additional features the pool complex should include. In particular the feedback was for Council to consider the addition of a hydrotherapy pool, increasing the depth of the pool, additional seating and more community space.

A business case was completed in 2016 which took a closer look at the costs involved with building this new pool complex and whether any other features were required to make sure Council met the recreation/leisure objective.

Sport Waikato and Sport New Zealand were key contributors to the development  of the business case.

Read more:  Cambridge Pool Development - Business Case [PDF, 6MB, 47 pages]

Public consultation

In light of this feedback, and the projected population growth for Cambridge and surrounding areas, the Mayor and councillors confirmed in April 2017 they would formally consider a $16.5 million project instead of the redevelopment approved in its 10-Year Plan.

The additional money would allow for an upgrade of the existing outdoor pool, a new 10-lane indoor pool and learner’s pool, a hydrotherapy pool, spa and sauna and a children’s splash pad. The new plans also include increased seating and a community room as well as car-parking, roads and landscaping.

Public consultation closed on 1 June 2017. On 13 June 2017Council confirmed that, in response to feedback gained through the consultation process , it will go ahead with the expanded option for the Cambridge Pool project.

Read more Cambridge pool - Statement of Proposal [PDF, 4.5MB, 17 pages]

Option 1 (new plans)

Cambridge pool redevelopment - Option 1

Option 2 (current plans)

Cambridge pool redevelopment - Option 2

Public consultation closed on 1 June 2017. 

Previous project updates

Council decision: June 2017

On 13 June 2017Council confirmed that, in response to feedback gained through the consultation process , it will go ahead with the expanded option for the Cambridge Pool project.

The agreed plans mean that, at a cost of $16.8 million, the Cambridge Pool complex will include an upgrade of the existing outdoor pool, a new 10-lane indoor pool and learner’s pool, a hydrotherapy pool, spa and sauna and a children’s splash pad. There will be increased seating and a community room as well as car-parking and landscaping.

Now that the scope has been confirmed, design of the pool complex can be finalised and construction of the pool is set to begin in March 2018.

Public consultation: May 2017

Waipa residents and ratepayers were formally asked to have their say on revised plans for the Cambridge pool. Consultation closed on 1 June 2017.

Council decision: April 2017

Following community feedback and massive growth projections for the area, Council confirmed it would formally consider a $16.5 million project instead of the $9.9 million pool redevelopment approved in its 10-Year Plan.

Councillor workshop: December 2016

The feedback from the stakeholder meeting was taken to the Mayor and councillors workshop on 16 December. Although no formal decisions can be made in a workshop, there was general support towards the addition of more seating, a hydrotherapy pool and inclusion of a facility room.

Stakeholder meeting: November 2016

On 22 November, a workshop was held with key stakeholders of the Cambridge Pool development. There was a lot of discussion around what should be included in the scope of the development. The key themes were:

  • Indoor spectator seating requirement- Request for seating for spectators but no determination of what level of capacity required e.g. regular casual use or event mode.
  • Deeper water requirement of 25m pool -  Water polo and Underwater Hockey perceive their sports suffer through lack of access to an appropriate depth for their sports (min 1.8m).
  • Standalone hydrotherapy pool- Based on the immediate need for access for older adults to therapy and rehabilitation and the longer term increase in this age group.
  • Facility room- for aquatic sport event delivery must be multi-purpose community/meeting space.

Links to media releases 

Page reviewed: 13 Dec 2018 12:24pm