Councillors pledge to study options for Municipal Pools

DANIEL ADAMS
Last updated 11:50 12/12/2012

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Hamilton's historic central city Municipal Pools has a future - for now.

City councillors have promised staff time to look at options for the pools and lobby group Sink or Swim is hailing the decision.

It has revealed plans to ally itself with the Hamilton East Community Trust to chase funding and says it has six months to start lining up financial backers.

Staff will work now with interest groups and report back during annual budget talks in May.

Sink or Swim spokeswoman Megan Bourke said she believed it was "vital" that the alliance turn up at those meetings with some of the funding already pledged.

"At least we have commitment from Hamilton City Council that they are going to look at maintaining the swimming pool and moving forward with a project. They are not looking at scuttling the pool. People will say we've already done that but we needed a starting point."

The group is likely to meet with the trust next week and member Katherine Luketina said the group would look at all funding options "to build a pool the city could be proud of".

Council have also undertaken to do an analysis of the city's pool-space demands.

City architect Mark Wassung has pledged his designs and other professional services at no cost. Mr Wassung said he wanted to be involved.

"I'm suggesting we could stage it, and develop a community plan that everyone is happy with.

"The grand vision could be something that's 10 years down the track, and you could stage it towards that end vision. It needs to be new, but have some of the old."

The century-old Victoria St pools were closed in May after reports detailed major mechanical and structural defects. Engineers have confirmed major cracks in the main 25-metre pool, a worn-out pump and filtration system and wooden grandstands that need earthquake strengthening.

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