High hopes for new pool
Graeme Pollett

Bridgetown's swimming pool manager is hoping for $1.5 million in good news next week.

Graeme Pollett is excited about the council’s planned $4.3 million redevelopment of the 1968-built pool and is hopeful a $1,432,938 Department for Sport and Recreation grant comes through.

This would allow the council to move ahead with plans for a new, bigger eight-lane pool as part of what he describes as the best facility outside the metropolitan area.

“I can’t wait, I’m really hoping for good news,” said Mr Pollett, who helped oversee a similar redevelopment in Katanning.

In December, the council accepted an initial $150,000 towards the project from Royalties for Regions and $25,000 from the South West Development Commission to fund a business case.

It has budgeted to spend about $1,552,000 of ratepayers’ money plus a total of $1,313,660 via Royalties for Regions this year and next.

An independent assessment in 2008 found the pool’s chlorine plant was filtering water too slowly and 19,500 litres of water was lost a day due to cracks in the concrete.

If DSR does not fund a third of the project the council will have to fund the shortfall or scale back the project.

“It’s well past its use-by date,” Mr Pollett said.

Along with a new main pool, the aim is to build a 200sq m leisure pool with water features, set in a larger grassed area linked to the rec centre, including barbecue areas and possibly a playground.

The council wants to merge the facilities to save $60,000 a year.

“With a single centre there are a lot of opportunities to streamline things and offer more to the community,” council community services manager Elizabeth Denniss said.

She said the aim was to open the combined centre seven days a week, at least in summer, which was not viable with the number of people currently using the rec centre.

If all goes to plan, demolition will start in April after the pool closes – and the town could have a new pool for summer 2014.

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