Centennial Pool repair headaches
Repairing an earthquake-damaged Christchurch pool complex carries "significant risks" despite an insurance shortfall of only $300,000, the city council says.
The Save Centennial Pool group, which has fought to retain the central-city facility, last week made public a council-commissioned engineering report it had requested under the Official Information Act in January.
The report, completed in February by engineering consultants Beca, said repairs would cost between $7.5 million and $9.5m.
Group spokeswoman Simone Pearson said the report proved that a repair was cost-effective.
The pool complex is insured for about $7.2m, leaving ratepayers a shortfall of between $300,000 and $2.3m.
The council's draft annual plan stated that rebuilding the pool on the existing site would cost about $15m and take three years to complete, but repair costs had not been made public.
Council community services general manager Michael Aitken said the report identified significant risks in repairing the complex, including:
A risk that more damage would be found and the cost of reinstatement would be higher.
Demolition and rebuild of both pools and other areas was necessary, which was effectively replacement.
Cost estimates did not include the risk of a geotechnical report indicating additional work.The risk was considered high because of the site's proximity to the Avon River.
Repairs would not bring the facility back to an "as new" condition.
The $15m option to replace the pool allowed for eight lanes, as opposed to six lanes, Aitken said.
"It also allows for new building and plant technology, adding to comfort and sustainability," he said.
A replacement at the existing size would cost about $13m.
Pearson said repairs were a "very viable alternative".
"Up until [last week], repairing Centennial hasn't even been an option on the agenda. The option that's out for public consultation is replacing the facility," she said.
A recent visit to the complex confirmed what she had seen from the "limited" information the group had received.
"There are some cracks in the pools, but as the engineer's report suggests, a lot of the rest of the damage is not significant."
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