Construction works are progressing well on the upgrade to the Wauchope Memorial Olympic Pool; a key project within Councils adopted Recreation Action Plan.
The upgrade comes as a result of Council working closely with the community over a number of years to ensure that this important community facility will support the recreational needs of locals and visitors for many years to come.
The facility was experiencing the effects of aging, and has seen significant recent increases in patronage, including school groups, recreational users and those using the pool as a form of exercise therapy.
Thanks to a significant financial injection from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, the major upgrade commenced in May this year, with the pool likely to be open for use prior to Christmas, said council’s Tricia Bulic.
“The poor condition of the pools expansion joints, and a change in how water proof testing of the structure was undertaken has caused a short delay on when the community can access the pool, however this change will provide for greater long term effectiveness in terms of the structure retaining water,” Ms Bulic said.
“Council staff have been consulting with pool operators Swimwell, the Wauchope Swimming Club and Wauchope Indoor Heated Pool Committee representatives to ensure all groups are informed on the project completion timeframes.”
This popular recreational and sporting destination is receiving structural repairs to both the 50 metre pool and toddler pool, an upgrade to the wet deck system, revamping the 3m diving board, renewal of the concrete pool surrounds and paths, and a new pool heating and filtration system.
A key enhancement to the pool is the construction of a new access friendly entry ramp, for those with mobility issues or those who find it difficult to access the pool via the stairs.
Accessible amenities are also being provided.
The upgraded Olympic pool will have heated water for swimmers, enabling new groups to use the pool facilities, with the warmer water being a welcome addition for many exercise groups and older patrons.
A high quality filtration system is being installed that uses ultrafine filtration.
This innovative new form of filtration physically removes and filters out microscopic bacteria, providing exceptional water clarity, and reducing the amount of water used in the pool backwash process.
“In addition to the current upgrade works, Council are receiving an additional $1.5 million in funding through the Federal Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF), with this being allocated to the construction of a shaded children’s outdoor water play area and tiered grandstand,” said Ms Bulic.
Work on the play area and grandstand is likely to occur after the 2016/17 swimming season.
The community are reminded that the small indoor pool at the Wauchope Pool is open for business, and that the pools in Kendall, Laurieton and Port Macquarie will all be in operation from this weekend.
To find out more about Council’s swimming pools and the range of programs on offer throughout the Port Macquarie-Hastings visit pmhc.nsw.gov.au/pools or contact Council on 6581 8111.