Tepid Baths set to reopen

HANNAH SPYKSMA
Last updated 05:00 06/06/2012
Tepid bath
JASON OXENHAM / Fairfax NZ
NEW ERA: Tim Hannah, Grey Moyle and Tim Coffey are happy to see the baths reopen.

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The Tepid Baths swimming complex is set to reopen at the end of the month after a two-year revamp.

The 98-year-old building, which has undergone a $15.8 million makeover, now boasts a seven lane pool, learning pool with a ramp, spa pool, sauna, steam room, cafe, new changing rooms and a state-of-the-art gym

"The old girl's had a facelift but it's more than just a makeover," Waitemata Local Board member Greg Moyle said of the complex.

It is expected that two commercial spaces will be leased out for the cafe and a physio.

In 2009 the facility was given a six-month lifespan because of rust, deterioration and a lack of maintenance.

"What many people don't know is this building almost ceased to exist,"  Moyle said.

The multi-million dollar project included laying new foundations, moving the main pool and adding a new lane.

City residents Tim Coffey and Tim Hannah are looking forward to using the facility again.

Both men pushed for the redevelopment because they believed the pools were an important facility for the expanding inner-city community of 30,000 apartment-dwellers.

"I don't think people understand the history. It's not a pool where people jump and run around it's a place where people learn to swim," Hannah said.

When it was built in 1914 the complex had a six-lane male pool and a four-lane female pool which were both heated from a nearby tramway power plant.

The male pool was considered the largest in New Zealand at the time. The tepid baths was formerly managed by YMCA Auckland but under Auckland Council ownership it is being run by subsidiary Manukau Leisure Services.

The costs for entry to the pools and gym are based on a 2007 council pricing plan which caps casual entry fees for adults at $6.50 per swim.

The renovation of the Tepid Baths will be revealed to the public on June 23.

The pools will open for use on June 24.

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