Pools to be focused on as part of aquatics plan review

FOCUS: The Southbridge Pool will be analysed as part of a district council-wide aquatics plan review.

Selwyn’s aquatic facilities will be reviewed to cater for the district’s booming population.

The district council operates five pools including the aquatic centre in Rolleston. The Darfield and Southbridge pools will be the focus of the review. The other pools are the Leeston Learners Pool and Sheffield Memorial Pool.

Darfield’s population is estimated to grow from 2957 to 3562 by 2025, while Southbridge will grow from 959 to 1030.

The aim of the review is to work out which aquatic facilities need to be prioritised for
funding or redevelopment in the future.

It comes after work to upgrade the plant rooms and equipment at the Darfield and Southbridge pools was approved in the Long Term Plan 2018-28.

Funding of $342,500 and $90,000 was approved for Darfield and Southbridge respectively. The review will start next month. Selwyn’s population is expected to increase significantly over the next seven years, with the district estimated to grow from about 53,830 residents to 67,228 by 2025.

This has prompted a $14.8 million expansion of the Selwyn Aquatic Centre, which is expected to be completed by mid-­2020.

Darfield pool sub-committee secretary Victor Dockerill said while its swimming pool is “fairly adequate”, he would like a year-round covered pool.

Currently, Darfield’s main 25m x 9m pool is located outside and only operates in the summer. It also has two indoor pools and a paddling pool.

Mr Dockerill said not only do Darfield residents use the pool, people drive from as far as Sheffield, Springfield and Whitecliffs.

District councillor Pat McEvedy said while pool upgrades are always needed, the Southbridge pool recently received a new set of changing rooms, a pool filtration update and had been re-fenced.

Southbridge pool committee member Brenda Hampton said the pool already has long-term projects planned, including an upgrade of the paddling pool and heating.

Southbridge has two outdoor pools – ­a 25m x 13m lane pool and a 5m x 6.7m paddling pool – which operate in the summer.

The district council said neither pool is at risk of being closed.