Pool closed for two years
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.