$2.7m expansion plan for aquatic centre could increase rates

PLANS: The Selwyn Aquatic Centre extension could cost an extra $2.7 million if the district council approves the increase in budget at its meeting next month.

An extra $2.7 million may be allocated to get the Selwyn Aquatic Centre extension under way.

The district council discussed the budget increase at its meeting last week.

District councillor Murray Lemon said it decided to delay making a call on the budget increase “to get a better grip on the process going forward.”

Cr Lemon said the changes follow consultation on the district council’s Long Term Plan.

“If we’re going to give any credence to consulting and give it any weight and not just box tick, then we need to listen to what came back from the consultation from the submissions,” he said.

Three options were presented to the district council.

Option one is what was adopted in the district council’s Long Term Plan, it costs $11.7 million and includes an additional 25m eight-lane programme pool to north of the building.

Option two includes an addition of permanent seating for about 200 people, an extension of the foyer space, changing the positioning of the additional 25m eight-lane programme pool to the west and changing the use of current eight-lane lap pool to a 1m deep programme pool at a cost of $13.2 million.

The third and preferred option includes having 10 lanes in the additional 25m programme pool and refurbishing some pool storage to include toilets. It comes at a cost of $14.4 million.

If it was approved, option two would see the targeted rate for the facility increase by four per cent and option three, eight per cent.

Cr Lemon said option three is “the best reflection of where they’ve come to.”

At the meeting Mayor Sam Broughton was supportive of option one due to the cost of the facility and “thinking about protection from the easterly for any future development of an outdoor swim space.”

However, he told Selwyn Times “any change is always possible.”

District councillor John Morten said he has not made up his mind yet on what the best option would be.

“We needed time to digest those options . . . we’re not prepared to make a decision just straight off the cuff out of what was in those papers,” he said.

Construction on the aquatic centre is expected to be completed halfway through 2020.