With Tawa’s swimming pool closed for the last six months while it is upgraded, a similar upgrade looks set to close Johnsonville’s Keith Spry Pool.
Wellington City Council officers have recommended that a $3.8 million revamp to the Keith Spry Pool take place in the 2012/13 financial year. It will include building a learn-to-swim pool, a spray pool and a family changing area, as well as upgrading the main pool.
The Keith Spry Pool was built in the early 1980s. However, Northern ward councillor Justin Lester say the facility is showing its age and it no long meets the needs of users. “There’s no learn-to-swim area and the changing rooms are inadequate. The water temperature’s too cold for my daughter, so we swim at Porirua.”
Mr Lester says the revamp still needs to be approved by councillors but he expects this to happen as part of the council’s deliberations on its long-term plan.
However, one needed aspect of the revamp is not included. “There’s no work on the changing rooms. That’s an extra $1 million. The officers want to push that back to 2015/16 when work on the new library is due to start.”
Mr Lester says the current changing rooms are too small, while the male changing rooms - which are downstairs - are difficult for disabled people to access. “If people know there are good facilities then they’ll come.”
He says it would make sense to upgrade the changing rooms at the same time as the other work on the pool complex. “I’m working with officers to have the money brought forward.”
However, he says community support for the project is still important. The councillor’s draft long-term plan will be released for public comment at the end of March. “Make a submission. Make a noise. Let councillors know what you think.”
Councillor pools manager Julian Todd says every effort will be made to keep the facility open as much as possible while the upgrade takes place.