Another closure of Albany pool concerns users
Maintenance issues, overcrowding and car-parking woes have marred the first months of Albany Stadium Pool.
The long-awaited $21 million facility opened in late January and has had a number of closures since. The community has raised concerns that the pool, which is located on the same grounds as QBE Stadium, is impacted when the stadium is hosting a large sporting event. The pool closed early due to the All Blacks match on September 16.
Access to the facility and car parking outside is restricted during events, including North Harbour’s Mitre 10 Cup home games.
The Auckland Council-run pool facility has 30 designated car parks and pool users are directed to park in nearby Hooton Reserve when these car parks are full. However, these are also used for the overflow stadium parking.
In response to comments on the Albany Stadium Pool Facebook page about parking on game day, the pool operators said: ‘‘The stadium staff block off the car parks before a big game and we agree it is frustrating to look over and see an empty car park while people using the pool are struggling to find a parking spot. We are continuing to work with the stadium to find a better solution for this ongoing issue’’.
Auckland Council’s head of active recreation Rob McGee said options being considered include more designated spaces, better signage and control mechanisms on event days, and options to increase the car-parking capacity on the precinct.
For a second time this year, the pool facilities at the complex will soon be closed for an extended period of time. For most of October, the swimming pools, spa and sauna are closed for maintenance work, including replacing electrical wiring.
‘‘Whilst there is no ideal timing for a shutdown, we have decided that balancing out the impact on our term-based programmes such as Learn to Swim and our long-term casual users that October was our preferred timing to carry out these essential works to ensure we offer our customers a high quality and safe experience,’’ McGee said.
In March, the toddlers’ pool, slide activity centre and splash pad closed for a week for urgent maintenance, so tiles and sealant could be repaired.
‘‘We are continuing to work with the stadium to find a better solution for this ongoing issue’’
Liam and Tara Saber contemplate a run across the tricky lily pads, at Albany Stadium Pool. The pool is closed for the school holidays.