Cost of Raumati Pool upgrade surges

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 12:33 06/03/2014

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Kapiti Observer

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Budget jitters could mean a landmark council building is used only to store books while its revamp is delayed.

The upgrade of the defunct Raumati Pool could go on hold after it was discovered the $500,000 tagged for the project is well short of what would be needed.

The latest estimate puts the cost at $1.6 million for the two stages of the project, with $1.1m needed for stage one.

Earthquake strengthening for the building might be required on top of the revamp costs.

Kapiti Coast District Council staff were asked in 2012 to investigate turning the beachfront complex into a performance centre and indoor sports facility.

The 60-year-old pools were shut last year with the opening of the Coastlands Aquatic Centre.

A report to councillors meeting today recommends they defer the project for at least another year.

It said the council could afford only a "flat floor surface throughout the building and cosmetic interior re-decoration" on the current budget.

"This project is essentially the development of a new facility for the community," the report said.

"As such, it is one which could be suspended or deferred, either for a short time, [for example] one year, or for a longer period."

The report said demolishing the building was not recommended if the council foresaw any future use for it.

"As the land is owned by the Department of Conservation it is unlikely that permission would ever be granted to build a new structure on the site should the existing building be removed," the report said.

The council also renewed a lease with the Waterfront Bar and Kitchen upstairs till 2023.

Staff recommend the council look at funding the project in next year's long-term plan, its 10-year budget.

It is recommended the council adopt a "pared-down" first stage that would be a basic fit-out of the interior.

This could push down the first stage costs to an estimated $671,900 to $823,300, the rest of the project to be completed later.

In the meantime the council could find temporary users for the complex, the report said.

"This could include groups such as the Lions . . . who are currently looking for a location to house the books for their annual book fair. However the empty open pool tank would require careful health and safety consideration and precautionary actions before any group could use the building."

Staff were discussing with Raumati Swimming Club the donation of the club-owned southern section of the building to the council.

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