Sunday, April 21, 2024

Auckland pool rises from flood depths

Nine months after floodwaters swamped West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre’s basement and operations hub, Auckland Council has turned the catastrophe into a positive for pool visitors this summer.

The aquatic centre’s popular leisure and hydrotherapy pool – including wave pool, toddler pools, hydroslide, spas, and sauna and steam will reopen to the public on Monday 9 October, for the first time since Auckland’s Anniversary floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

The Council has future-proofed West Wave by completing maintenance and seismic strengthening work at the same time as extensive repairs to flood and cyclone-damaged systems.

A $1.4 million insurance settlement has provided funding for the renewal and repair work, while the Henderson-Massey Local Board has enabled capital works to be fast-tracked with $750,000 in funding.

Local Board Chair, Chris Carter says the board has done its best to help West Wave reopen in time for summer and plan ahead for the future.

“Despite tight budgets, our board prioritised the need to sort this to the best of its ability and we are really proud of what we’ve achieved,” Mr Carter says.

“West Wave’s structured programme of works is now fully completed, through to next year – so local families and people of all ages can enjoy the new pool revamp and benefit from more hours of active entertainment in the warmer months ahead.”

He praised the council’s Aquatics team for coordinating the complex range of tasks needed to reinstate complete recovery in such a short time.

As part of necessary repairs, the council has replaced entire electrical wiring and heating systems, along with technology operations that ensure the West Wave pools can keep running efficiently.

Auckland Council’s Active Communities General Manager, Dave Stewart says bringing the pool’s building works programme forward has enabled the council to ensure the pool, recreation centre and adjacent Zeal area are all up to the current code with a seismic rating of 67% New Building Standard.

“As kaitiaki or caretakers of Auckland’s pool network, it’s always a difficult balancing act to build the resilience of our pools while maintaining ongoing access for our communities to participate in aquatic recreation,” says Mr Stewart.

“Capital works and seismic strengthening often present a significant safety hazard to the public and pools usually have to be drained. This means, as much as we’d like to keep pool facilities running, we can’t always continue to while we carry out renewal work.”

West Wave’s recently finished works include: seismic strengthening to the ceiling, internal columns and foundations; a complete review of the pool’s wastewater system; renewed flooring and features in the leisure pool; and renewed earth bonding links in the hydrotherapy pool.

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