Hand-sized tear forces clo­sure of pool

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL AND ADAM POULOPOULOS

The main pool at Kapiti’s $21 mil­lion aquatic cen­tre, which was dogged by cost blow outs and de­lays, now has a hole in its floor.

Kapiti’s aquatic cen­tre has been forced to close its main pool in Fe­bru­ary for up to three weeks af­ter a wheel jammed on the pool’s mov­able floor, tear­ing a hole in the hi-tech skin be­neath.

Kapiti Coast District Coun­cil built the com­plex with the help of com­mu­nity fundrais­ing. It opened three years ago af­ter a string of prob­lems and con­tro­ver­sies.

On Tues­day, parks and recre­ation man­ager Ali­son Law said a run­ner the size of a shop­ping trol­ley wheel on the mov­able floor had seized. The move­able floor floats like a pon­toon in­side the main pool. The jammed wheel left a hand-sized tear in the skin on the pool floor, al­low­ing water through onto a con­crete pad, which was not de­signed to with­stand long-term ex­po­sure to chlo­ri­nated water.

Law said she did not know how much it would cost to patch the tear. The coun­cil was await­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion from the pool maker. The main 25m by 25m pool would close in Fe­bru­ary for re­pairs, but the rest of the com­plex, in­clud­ing a smaller pool, would re­main open.

While the con­crete un­der the pool was ex­posed, the water was not leak­ing out, she said.

The hole, and seized wheel, were found in a rou­tine check of the pool, she said. The re­pairs would pro­vide ad­di­tional re­in­force­ment for the area in con­tact with the wheels.

For­mer New Zealand Olympic swim­mer and head coach of the Rau­mati Rap­tors, Jon Win­ter, said the re­pairs could not have come at a worse time. He said while he had no ev­i­dence, he thought a dis­abil­ity ramp was a po­ten­tial cause of the tear.

Win­ter said Fe­bru­ary was prob­a­bly the worst pe­riod for a clo­sure, which would es­pe­cially af­fect the club’s best swim­mers.

‘‘We have prob­a­bly 30 and 40 swim­mers who have qual­i­fied for na­tional events from Fe­bru­ary on­wards. That’s who it’s go­ing to ef­fect.’’

The club could swim at an­other pool in Waikanae, but Win­ter said there was no way of fit­ting the club’s 80 swim­mers there with­out caus­ing ma­jor dis­rup­tion to the pool or the club.

Kapiti mayor K Gu­runathan said the retro-fit­ted dis­abil­ity ramp was in­stalled only af­ter ap­proval from the mak­ers of the mov­able floor.

PHOTO: JOEL MAXWELL

The main pool at Kapiti’s aquatic cen­tre will close for three weeks in Fe­bru­ary.

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