Pool closed for two years

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JARRYD BARCA

Coun­cil has con­firmed that the Corowa Swim­ming Pool could be closed for up to two years fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of a $750,000 splash park to be built at the Ball Park com­plex.

The $750,000 forms part of the $3.6m that the Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil re­ceived from the NSW Govern­ment as part of the Stronger Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ties Fund, which will solely go to­wards a 6.7m high play struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, pro­vid­ing a much sought-af­ter wa­ter play fea­ture.

The first pool steer­ing com­mit­tee meeting was held on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 23 where com­mit­tee mem­bers were ad­vised about a new time­line, to al­low a heated op­tion to be con­sid­ered dur­ing the de­sign process of the new swim­ming pool com­plex.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Mayor Pat Bourke told The Free Press that coun­cil is con­tin­u­ing to work as hard as it can, now with the sup­port of the new steer­ing com­mit­tee to de­liver a fa­cil­ity that is able to best meet the needs of many users.

“The new coun­cil has been ex­tremely proac­tive and has ac­tively chal­lenged the pre­vi­ous op­tions and mod­els pre­sented to the coun­cil over the many years,” he said.

“Coun­cil is pur­su­ing the de­sign ten­der op­tion as it al­lows coun­cil to ask for in­no­va­tion to be built in to the pool de­sign, in­clud­ing var­i­ous heat­ing op­tions.

“Although this process ex­tends the de­liv­ery time of the new pool fa­cil­ity, coun­cil see it as a cru­cial com­po­nent of the pool re­de­vel­op­ment jour­ney and wish to re­main proac­tive and scope just what is achiev­able from a

de­sign per­spec­tive, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion, site lo­ca­tion, project bud­get and on­go­ing main­te­nance costs.”

Mayor Bourke said com­mu­nity engagement and feed­back re­mains to be a strong fo­cus of coun­cil and ratepay­ers asked coun­cil to in­ves­ti­gate a heated fa­cil­ity which in turn prompted coun­cil to lead to a de­sign ten­der.

“Given the life span of the new pool fa­cil­ity could be 60 years like the pre­vi­ous one, it is cru­cial that coun­cil ex­plores all op­tions with pool in­dus­try ex­perts and key stake­hold­ers to de­liver a fa­cil­ity that will sup­port the fu­ture growth of the fed­er­a­tion re­gion,” he said.

“A de­sign ten­der is con­sid­ered the best way in which we do this.”

The new splash park struc­ture will have three wa­ter slides and 18 in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments in­clud­ing a mouse-tip­ping bucket, as well as a tod­dler pool and in­ter­ac­tive jet zone.

The new ‘splash pad’ will pro­vide hours of fun to chil­dren of all ages and their fam­i­lies and is hoped to be a won­der­ful fam­ily at­trac­tion for the re­gion.

Mr Bourke said it’s “fan­tas­tic” to see the swim­ming pool project re­ceive such mon­u­men­tal fund­ing and said it could play as a ma­jor tourist at­trac­tion to the town.

“It en­sures that a qual­ity splash park will be a fea­ture of the new Corowa pool com­plex,” he said.

“Re­cently com­pleted aquatic projects else­where in the re­gion have re­ported that their splash parks are one of the most highly utilised com­po­nents of their fa­cil­ity.

“With the near­est splash park be­ing Wan­garatta, we are con­fi­dent that when up and run­ning the new pool fa­cil­ity in­clud­ing the splash park will draw peo­ple from both sides of the bor­der, and from across the fed­er­a­tion re­gion.”

Mayor Bourke said the new splash park will pro­vide Corowa with some­thing it has never had.

“While dif­fer­ent op­er­a­tors of the pool in the past have pro­vided in­flat­a­bles and other wa­ter play op­por­tu­ni­ties within the pool, a splash park is dif­fer­ent and is not some­thing that can be pro­vided else­where in the lo­cal area, such as at the river, and will be a key point of dif­fer­ence for the new fa­cil­ity,” he said.

Mr Bourke said one of the ma­jor ben­e­fits to arise from a splash park was pro­vid­ing a fam­ily-friendly wa­ter play area that can be both safe and en­joy­able.

“Splash parks are a great way to in­tro­duce chil­dren to the wa­ter and get them in and around wa­ter from a young age,” he said.

The splash park will form part of the en­tire pool re­de­vel­op­ment ac­cord­ing to the mayor.

Mr Bourke said coun­cil is cur­rently in the de­sign phase and ex­pects to be on site de­vel­op­ing in mid-2019.

“It’s im­por­tant that the de­sign is as de­tailed as pos­si­ble to en­sure ac­cu­rate con­struc­tion ten­ders can be pro­vided and that there’s a clear un­der­stand­ing of what’s ex­pected to be con­structed for ev­ery­one,” Mr Bourke said.

An out­door play struc­ture fa­cil­ity at the Corowa swim­ming pool is one of the as­pects that lured a ma­jor­ity of votes to­wards ‘Op­tion 4’ at the coun­cil meeting held in May, with the other pop­u­lar op­tion be­ing a 25-me­tre in­door heated pool.

“The res­o­lu­tion to pro­ceed with Op­tion 4, passed by coun­cil at the May 2018 coun­cil meeting in­cluded plans for an out­door splash park,” Mr Bourke said.

“It’s fan­tas­tic to have the new fund­ing con­firmed while we’re still in the de­sign phase as that can be con­sid­ered as the pool fa­cil­ity is be­ing de­signed and en­sures we can de­liver an im­pres­sive splash park fea­ture with the NSW Govern­ment’s com­mit­ment.”

The How­long pool is of­fer­ing free en­try this sum­mer sea­son to of­fer Corowa swim­ming pa­trons with an al­ter­na­tive swim cen­tre while the Corowa pool re­mains closed.

Corowa will have to wait two years for this splash park, coun­cil con­firmed.

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