Council rejects repair idea for Centennial Pool

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 13:55 28/02/2013

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Christchurch City councillors have voted to abandon any plans for repairing quake-damaged Centennial Pool.

In an eight to five vote the council resolved not to proceed with the investigation of temporary repairs, but they will seek a meeting with Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee to discuss how an aquatic area of pool could be incorporated into the proposed playground on the Centennial Pool site.

A staff report considered by councillors today recommended against doing temporary repairs to the complex. It said while engineering consultancy Beca had estimated the cost of repairs at $9.5 million - above its $7.2m insured value - it was ''highly probable'' that a final repair bill would be larger as more damage was uncovered.

Deputy mayor Ngaire Button moved the council accept the staff's recommendation, saying the costs of temporarily fixing the pool were too high, but Cr Jamie Gough said the council should "stand strong'' against the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) and insist on keeping Centennial as a transitional aquatic facility, at least until the new metro sports facility was up and running.

He said facilities were desperately needed in the central business district to attract people and by repairing Centennial the council had the chance to address a "glaring and obvious deficiency''.

'I firmly believe in picking your battles; this is a battle to pick,'' Gough said.

Cr Tim Carter said he could not see how having a pool within the eastern frame of the new CBD was incompatible with the government's blueprint for the area. There would still be room for a children's playground and the two would compliment each other.

"It (Centennial) has been a very well used facility in the past ... and it will be well used in the future if we repair it,'' Carter argued.

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- The Press

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