While South Canterbury Gymsports has indicated that it wants to use Century Pool, nothing is set in stone.
Century Pool closed in early July and the Timaru District Council has confirmed it is in negotiations with a not-for-profit organisation outside Timaru, which approached it about buying the hydroslide.
The council has said it is not in a position to say who and has indicated there is no urgency at present.
The Hydroslide Charitable Trust established a fund in 1998, raised $160,000, erected a quick-build house and took a loan of $130,000 from the council at the time to find the money for the slide. The money was finally repaid in 2008 by ticket sales to the slide. Once the loan was repaid, ownership of the hydroslide transferred to the council.
In July 1996, a set of plans was presented to the council by Timaru man Gaven Armit, giving support for the idea.
Four local waterslide enthusiasts were behind the plan and the group intended to launch a public fundraising campaign to pay for the slide.
The proposed 79-metre-long slide would start at the top of an 8.7m-high tower, making its way into a landing pool beside the complex's main pool.
The group came up with the idea after using the slide at Twizel's swimming pool during the Christmas holidays.
Armit estimated about 25,000 people a year would use the slide, generating an extra $16,000 income for the council.
When the hydroslide would be built would depend on fundraising efforts.
By October 1996, South Canterbury tradesmen had signed on to give 5000 voluntary hours in a fundraising effort to build and, hopefully, sell a house to help raise the $275,000 needed to build the hydroslide.
The builders, electricians, painters, plumbers, landscape gardeners and dozens of other locals aimed to build the four-bedroomed, two-bathroom Pages Rd house in just 48 hours.
The build took place in March 1997 and went like clockwork, taking less than 48 hours.
After more than six months on the market and a reduction in price, the "quick-build" house on Pages Rd was sold.
Originally, it was expected the effort would raise more than $100,000 for the hydroslide, which was to be up and running for the summer.
However, Timaru hydroslide charitable trust secretary Sharon Armit said because the house had taken so long to sell, that would not happen.
After three years in the pipeline, work on the hydroslide began in 1998.
Before the hydroslide construction could begin, the trust needed a further $100,000 to top up its coffers to $290,000, the estimated cost of the project.
The final $100,000 was lent to the trust by the Timaru District Council.
Trust member Peter McPherson said the council could see how beneficial the hydroslide was going to be to Century Pool and that was why it was lent the money.
The trust received $20,000 from the council grants committee, which also approved a loan of $30,000, raised $55,000 after the trust sold the the quick-build home, received $10,000 from the Hally Trust, and was given $50,000 from the local Community Trust, along with the $100,000 from the council.
The trust was still in debt to the council for $130,000 at the completion of the project, but Armit said the debt would be covered from the money earned when the hydroslide was up and running.
Century Pool's new hydroslide was official opened on Friday, December 18, 1998.
By January, 1999, a total of 50,000 rides, worth $20,000, had been sold.
QUARTET STEERED FUNDRAISING AND BUILDING
Peter McPherson was one of the key players involved in getting the hydroslide up and running. He gives an account of the effort to get the idea off the ground.
Who was initially involved in the idea?
Rickie Shore, Gaven Armit, Gordon Leslie and me.
How and when did the hydroslide development come about?
The initial idea was floated in about mid-1996, with fundraising and construction taking until late 1998.
Why did it come about? Who brought it together?
The idea came from Rickie and Gaven, who rode a hydroslide in another centre; the four of us formed a committee under the umbrella of the Timaru Hydroslide Charitable Trust with the purpose of raising funds for and constructing a hydroslide facility in Timaru.
When did it all happen? Can you recall a timeline?
Idea floated about mid-1996, Charitable Trust formed September 1996, fundraising and construction of hydroslide completed November/December 1998, with the main fundraising activity which was a quick-build house. The hydroslide was leased to the Timaru District Council for 10 years and then sold to the council at the end of the lease period.
Your thoughts on how the project unfolded - were you happy? What was your involvement?
Everything proceeded well. From memory the only issue was meeting the completion date for the construction of the hydroslide. Great support from the local community, especially the building industry for the quick-build house. I was involved as committee member, seeking funding and physically involved with fundraising activities.
Did you ride the hydroslide?
I never rode on the hydroslide, but each committee member was given one-year free use of it.
Are you happy with the current situation? Would you like to see it go to a good home?
Yes, it needs to go to a good home, in particular for the continued use of the South Canterbury people.
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