Swimming pool interest heats up

By Robert Muir

Tenders for a new Corowa Swimming Pool have drawn considerable interest and heating options are still being seriously considered according to committee member and Federation Council Deputy Mayor Shaun Whitechurch.

“Indications are we’ve had quite a bit of interest from far and wide,” Cr Whitechurch said at council’s monthly meeting on February 19.

“Our project manager has been investigating and making some headway regarding our motion.

“Over the last three to five years a lot of pools built have different forms of heating.”

Some demolition works on the pool site will commence by the end of next month. 

Using council staff and equipment, the intention is to remove any salvageable assets from the site, then demolish the existing plant room and smaller pools, concrete and in ground services while leaving the 50m tub largely intact to prevent softening of the soil should a large rain event occur until new installation occurs. 

“Having this work completed will remove it from the design and construct tender saving money and also saving time on the delivery of the overall project,” council’s General Manager Adrian Butler said.

Federation Council is pursuing design tenders for a 50m, eight-lane outdoor pool, and 15m long x 11.5m learn to swim/program pool and splash pad.

Council’s motion, on May 15, 2018, also includes council investigating an indoor pool option.     

Cr Whitechurch said the pool steering committee has met a few times with committee members from the Federation Youth Council, general public and stake holders.

“It’s a good spread of members with 12 on the committee,” he said. 

In progressing council’s motion, the learn-to-swim pool could also be heated and the appointed concept designer directed to investigate all options to heat both the 50 and smaller pool.

There have also been discussions about investigating the ability to close off half of the 50m pool in the winter and heat this section also. This could in affect be a building over half of the 50m pool.

Council’s quotation request for concept design is currently was advertised on Tenderlink and closed on February 27, 2019.

“This approach is considered to give the project enough framework for the public to understand the concept of the type of complex that will be delivered, whilst still allowing scope for the pool construction firms, in their tenders, to utilize best practice technology and design creativity to achieve a pool that best reflects the community desires and provided a regional attraction to continue to promote Corowa as a go to place,” Mr Butler said.

Among other key elements for design are:

Refurbishment of the existing amenities building, including the entry, kiosk area and change rooms with associated upgrades to provide a shaded outdoor dining area enabling parents to have surveillance of children using the facility.

A splash park with elements suitable to be used by children in the age group of 5yrs to 13yrs of age. Specific funding available for the Splash Park is $750,000, which is included within the overall project budget of $8.0m. 

An attractive and functional secondary entry/exit point from Ball Park Caravan Park. While the Corowa pool is a community facility and is primarily for the residents of Corowa and surrounds, it is desired to create an easier access and encourage park users to frequent the new complex. 

A new plant room, appropriately located and of sufficient size to house the necessary water treatment plant. There should be easy access for the delivery of pool chemicals to the plant room. 

Design options for heating the pool(s). This could include evacuated tube solar, heat pumps or other energy efficient means of heating one or more of the pools subject to the overall budgetary constraints of the project.

The need to replace the current 1956-constructed pools at the Corowa Swimming Pool was identified as long ago as 1992 when an engineering report confirmed structural issues with the main 50m pool shell and the presence of tree roots invading the structure of the pool.

The administration building is considerably newer, having been built in approximately 1997.

Overall timelines set by Federation Council are expected to result in commissioning and opening to the public on August 20, 2020.