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New Christchurch Council City pools move a step closer

21 September 2005

The city’s north has the best case to be home to Christchurch’s next new community pool and recreation facility, according to a progress report from a City Council staff team working on new aquatic leisure facilities.

The staff reported to city councillors and community board members at a seminar on Tuesday (20 September). Included was information drawn together in map form from census data, Council-commissioned research and material provided by other pool providers such as schools and private operators. 

The presentation, by recreation facilities manager John Filsell and policy unit team leader Alan Bywater, suggests that Papanui, in the north-west of the city, be the first site of a new pool facility and that the building design process should begin in the year from 1 July 2006. The staff reported that there is strong potential for a partnership arrangement with Papanui High School and with some support from the neighbouring mall operator.

Recommended is a facility with a 25m lane pool, a children’s pool, spa and some kind of recreation feature. In today’s dollar values, it is expected to cost $5m to $6m.

Suggested priorities two and three -- in the south-west and the east -- are for pools to be built in 10-to-12 years. Staff are suggesting this be reviewed in about five years to see if priorities have changed.

The staff update also includes recommendations about the future of several older outdoor pools. A full report, incorporating suggestions made by elected members at Tuesday’s seminar, is expected to go before the Council for a decision next month.

Once that decision is taken, it is likely that the staff put the proposal out to the community boards, stakeholders and other interested groups and individuals for their comment. After considering that feedback, a draft aquatic facilities plan will be compiled for the Council to consider for adoption in December.

That draft plan would be open for public consultation as one element of the City Council’s next (2006-16) draft long-term community plan, which will be finalised and adopted before June next year.

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