Makino Aquatic Centre may come off drawing board

SANDRA CROSBIE
Last updated 09:00 05/04/2014

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We have had to look at the most viable option from both a business perspective as well as the needs of our community. Nick Mannix Makino Aquatic Centre manager --------------------

Swimmers should have more options if the Makino Aquatic Centre's proposed development is completed.

The Feilding complex has been under the spotlight for redevelopment for more than five years but this year's Manawatu District Council Draft Annual Plan has released development drawings of the complex and highlighted the proposed changes.

The development comes with a cost increase from the budgeted $3.2m to $4.5m due to incorporating seismic strengthening and other upgrade work.

Helping with the proposed changes is Centre manager Nick Mannix, who recently led a focus group, read submissions and survey results and visited pool complexes in the lower North Island.

"We have had to look at the most viable option from both a business perspective as well as the needs of our community," Mannix said.

The biggest change in the plan is the creation of a new indoor learner's pool and a wet deck play area.

The new pool is proposed to be 8x12 metres and can be closed off from the other indoor pools if necessary.

"It will enable us to run several swim classes at once, and is a size and depth which make it a good transition from the existing toddler's pool. This will free up the other pool more for casual swimmers."

The existing pools are in high demand for swimming lessons with 475 children registered for lessons this term. A lack of availability has left casual swimmers disgruntled.

The interactive wet deck water play area for 2-12-year-olds would be a first for Manawatu.

Other improvements included new family rooms, upgraded changing rooms and a new entrance and shop area. All aspects of the plant have been reviewed and energy efficiency has also been allowed for.

Mannix is delighted with how the complex will look after its redevelopment. "It will look like a new $15m facility, but it is only costing $4.5m. I am sure the community will go ‘wow' and feel proud of it."

The Draft Annual Plan has been adopted and is out for public consultation.

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- Manawatu Standard

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