Fuseworks Media

Condition of Otumoetai Pool prompts Council action – Tauranga City Council

Tauranga City Council is taking proactive steps to address the deteriorating condition of the Ōtūmoetai swimming pool and ascertain ongoing operational viability.

A recent assessment conducted by engineering company WSP revealed critical issues, including a sinking pool tank with multiple cracks and an outdated air handling system.

The pool’s infrastructure woes are compounded by its expiring resource consent in 2026, adding further uncertainty and costs to its future operation.

In light of these challenges, Tauranga City Council is attending a community meeting on Tuesday, 20 February, to gather further feedback and insights. The aim is to compile an issues and options paper to guide potential options regarding the pool’s future.

Bay Venues is undertaking further work to update this assessment and inform a conclusive cost estimate, currently estimated at more than $10million, to get the pool to a state that will serve the community long term.

To date, Bay Venues has committed a significant investment on remedial actions, including work on the canopy (which was added as a temporary 10-year addition and has now been in place for 22 years), the geothermal bore, and underground pipes.

Tauranga City Council and Bay Venues recognise that Ōtūmoetai Pool provides an opportunity for neighbouring schools and the local community to swim in their immediate area.

“Aquatic facilities are expensive to build, maintain, and operate, so it’s important to strike a balance between neighbourhood use with operational efficiency. We also must consider catering to a wide geographical catchment and the diversity of aquatic interests, including recreation and leisure, learn-to-swim, lane swimming, and hydrotherapy,” says General Manager of Community Services, Barbara Dempsey.

“Ōtūmoetai Pool sees between 40,000 and 50,000 visits annually, but we expect this figure to decline significantly with the opening of the new aquatic centre at Memorial Park. To put that number into context, Greerton Aquatic & Leisure Centre, which has a similar level of staffing and the same opening hours, hosts about 90,000 visits per year.”

Despite these challenges, Council and Bay Venues have indicated that the intention is to keep the pool open at least until the construction of the new aquatic centre at Memorial Park is completed at approximately the end of 2027.

 

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