Family dismayed at pool's demise

Margaret Mahy playground to replace pool

Last updated 05:00 18/06/2014
Centennial Pool demolition
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ

COMING DOWN: Demolition of the Centennial Pool complex gets under way to clear the site for the Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

Relevant offers

The Rebuild

Westpac closures reflect bigger trend affecting small town New Zealand Fendalton landowners paid hundreds of thousands of dollars compo prior to February earthquake Christchurch Dilemmas: How to rebuild the city's heart Opinion: Pegasus - a 'vibrant village' where people know nature and their neighbours Government close to buying last two sites for Christchurch's Performing Arts Precinct Christchurch building firm H&R Garlick folds after 20 years in business Cave Rock apartment owners will not accept 'full and final' settlement offer from IAG Parting the Avon River for the city's waste Old and new in Rutherford's Den restoration Crown company Otakaro Ltd not a 'public office'

The daughter of New Zealand children's author Margaret Mahy is "disappointed" that Centennial Pool is being demolished to make way for an inner-city playground named after her late mother.

The damaged pool complex was closed after the February 2011 earthquake and the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) controversially purchased it from the Christchurch City Council to form part of the city's recovery blueprint plan. Demolition started yesterday and is expected to take about eight weeks.

Penny Mahy said the family did not know that the creation of the Margaret Mahy Family Playground meant the pool would be demolished.

"I think it's quite a shame to lose the pool and it's made us a bit uneasy."

The family was "very happy" when asked by recovery officials if the new playground could be named after Margaret Mahy.

"But we didn't realise at the time that they would be pulling down the pool in order to do that," Penny Mahy said.

The council later looked at keeping the centre after a group of residents campaigned to save it, but Mayor Lianne Dalziel said it was bound by the cost-sharing agreement with the Crown.

Penny Mahy said that when she and her and husband lived in Armagh St, they would regularly take their children to Centennial Pool. Her mother had also enjoyed visiting the pool with her grandchildren.

"We would have liked it to be restored . . . . it was a much-loved facility and they're pulling it down to create an expensive playground. It sometimes seems like it's big projects over the community-sized projects."

She agreed that the new playground would be a valuable community facility once complete. Construction is expected to begin this year at a cost of about $20 million.

Signs went up on fences around the pool complex yesterday to mark its demise, including one featuring a sad face and the words "sad to see Centennial Pool go, going, gone".

CCDU director Warwick Isaacs said it had consulted the Mahy family on the playground and its design. He did not say whether or not he was aware of the family's concerns about Centennial Pool.

Both pools at the centre were badly damaged and the planned Metro Sports Facility would replace Centennial Pool, he said.

Ad Feedback

- The Press


Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it worth spending extra to repair heritage buildings?

Yes, Christchurch needs to invest in its heritage buildings

No, we should embrace modern design if it is cheaper and quicker

Only some heritage buildings are worth the money

Vote Result

Related story: Landmark church nearly $1m short

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content