Centennial Pool future still unknown

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 07:38 18/09/2012
Simone Pearson
POOL WEAR: Centennial Pool campaigner Simone Pearson.
1
DISREPAIR: Centennial Pool's post quake damage.

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The fate of earthquake-hit Centennial Pool is still up in the air, with supporters calling for answers about the facility's future.

The pool and recreation centre sits within the green frame in the Government's central city blueprint, and has been earmarked as a children's playground.

Christchurch City councillors had been investigating whether the pool could be temporarily repaired, but put the plans on hold last month until they could speak to Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Save Centennial spokeswoman Simone Pearson said she was frustrated about the lack of progess following months of discussions with the council.

"We've gone through all the hoops, all the processes, we've tried to present our side clearly and accurately, so why can't they just make a decision?"

Pearson said the pool would "enhance" the central city frame, and could combine well with the proposed playground.

The group had received support from a number of inner-city hotels and other hospitality providers who were keen to have recreational facilities back in the city centre.

Pearson said she had had a positive meeting with Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive Roger Sutton to discuss Centennial's future, and was hopeful that residents' views would be listened to.

A Cera spokesman said issues raised at the meeting would be considered by the organisation.

While Cera intended to acquire the pool as part of the blueprint, the council was responsible for decisions about the short-term future of the facility.

Council community services general manager Michael Aitken said the council had been trying to set up a meeting with Brownlee, but had not yet finalised a date.

Brownlee said he was "not overly versed" on the condition of Centennial, but had some concerns about the potential cost of a repair.

He would meet councillors soon to discuss the issue.

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- The Press

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