Her lucky dip: Nicola last out of the pool
'This is the only pool I've known'ROSA STUDHOLME
Swimmers had their last dip at Timaru's Century Pool last night as it closed to make way for the Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre.
A swimming facility has stood on the site since the first Century Pool was built in 1900. It was rebuilt in 1967 and roofed in 1979. The present facility was meant to close on Friday, but a glitch with the heating plant brought its final day forward.
Lifeguard Jo Skudder said it was a quite sad occasion.
She had been a competitive swimmer at the pool before becoming a lifeguard, and had a long association there.
"This is the only pool I've known."
She will continue as a lifeguard at the new aquatic centre.
It had been quiet at the pool on its last day yesterday, she said.
"I think people thought it was shut today because it's been dead quiet."
Fellow lifeguard and Mountainview High School student Nicola Newton was determined to be the last one out of the pool.
"I've got many memories of this place. I used to come here every Friday night with my friends."
Before becoming a lifeguard she was in the Tripod swim squad that trained at Century Pool.
She marked the occasion last night by joining in the final aquarobics session and having one last ride down the hydroslide.
She was looking forward to the aquatic centre opening where she would also be a lifeguard.
The aquatic centre will be officially opened by Prime Minister John Key on July 27 and will open to the public on July 30.
It will be open to regular swimmers with a concession card from today until Friday from 6am to 8am, and between the same hours from Monday to Friday next week.
People shared their memories of Century Pool on the Herald's Facebook page yesterday. Most were looking forward to the new complex opening.
Erin Phillips said she could not wait.
"It looks amazing and I think it is an asset to Timaru and its families."
However, Michelle Page said it was "dumb" that Century Pool was closing.
"[It is] Perfect entertainment for the children of low-income families."
Kim Hita said she had had some "mean times" swimming there, especially at swim nights on Mondays and at swimming carnivals.
Gary Dixon said the Timaru District Council had done themselves proud with the new complex.
"It's called progress, people."
Tracey Evans, a former lifeguard, said she had fond memories and respected the tradition of Timaru kids going there, but was looking forward to a more modern facility.
"The change rooms etc and the kid's pool, however, will not be missed . . . can't wait for the modern, brighter, spacious new aquatic park to open. Puts Timaru in the 21st century at last."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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