Changing sheds marked for demolition

The changing rooms at the Hinds Community Pool will be demolished next month.

Changing sheds at the Rakaia and Hinds swimming pools will be demolished because they are a seismic risk and the pools won’t open until the work has been done.

The demolition is not expected to be carried out until mid to late January because of contractor availability, which will mean a shorter season at both pools.

Ashburton District Council has approved funding of $27,800 for the demolition work and for fencing and portaloos at the two sites this summer.

The work will be funded from a council property reserve account because the committees that run the pools have insufficient reserves.

An independent condition assessment report was carried out on six community pools in the district earlier this year and further seismic risk assessment work was done on pool changing rooms at Hinds, Rakaia and Tinwald.

The Tinwald pool required work to the western block wall and plant room, but the changing rooms were deemed safe, and the pool opened at the weekend.

Council community services manager Steve Fabish said demolishing the changing rooms at Hinds and Rakaia was more prudent than repairing them.

He said council had been working with pool committees at Hinds and Rakaia throughout the process and would continue to do so to look at long term solutions for pool support facilities.

Council staff were looking at fitting counters at the two pools to gauge user numbers.

Those numbers could then be used in future applications seeking external funding support, he said.

The cost of pool support services at the district’s six community pools over the next 15 years is estimated at $1.5 million, more than double what is budgeted by council.

-By Mick Jensen