FIONA Phillips, who ran the Save Nowra Swimming Pool campaign and is a member of the Nowra Pool Advisory Committee, has welcomed the news Shoalhaven City Council has received an interest subsidy on a $3 million loan towards the redevelopment of the ageing facility.
Council will spend $6 million on a new nine-lane pool and has received a 3 per cent interest subsidy on a loan of $3 million under the NSW government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS).
The project will see the construction of a new pool at the current location as well as new reticulation for the toddler pool and improved heat pump technology.
The pool will be closed for the season with council hoping to open the new facility in November next year.
It is expected tenders for construction will be called later this year.
Mrs Phillips said the new complex is going to be impressive.
“I have seen the concept plans and they look fantastic,” she said.
“It is going to be a state of the art complex.
“We are just waiting on council to now go out to tender and start work by turning the first sod.”
Council had previously scaled back the project, including the update of the water park area.
Mrs Phillips has asked if some of those deleted plans, now that funds have become available, might be put back on the table for consideration.
“This announcement is great news and hopefully it might allow some other funds to be freed up that may also be put into the project,” she said.
“Once work starts on the project, if we have to, we will start a major community fund-raising effort to try to get the water park, as one of the things taken from the plans, to be built.”
Mrs Phillips said the new complex would allow the local area to stage and host major swimming and other water related events such as water polo.
With one of the region’s two Olympic pools closed for the season it is certainly going to mean a busy time at the Bomaderry complex.
In the interim the Nowra Swim Club will be swimming out of the Bomaderry pool on Thursday nights.
“It will have a significant effect on people this season, on the general public in particular that use the Bomaderry complex,” Mrs Phillips said.
As the various local school swimming carnivals begin next term, the complex is set to be as busy as ever.
There is even talk that some carnivals might have to be staged at night.
“It is certainly going to mean the Bomaderry pool will be flooded with people this summer, which is going to make it difficult,” Mrs Phillips said.
“We were told originally the new pool would be open by November next year, now it seems it may be December, but either way we have been assured it will be opened for the 2014-15 season.”
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said the announcement would allow council to reduce its interest payments on the $3 million loan.
“The Nowra Olympic Pool is obviously an extremely popular and well utilised community asset, however the ageing facility is in desperate need of renewal works,” she said.
“The loan interest subsidy will be used to reduce the ‘whole-of-life’ costs of renewing the existing pool shell, which is suffering from structural cracking and subsequent leaks.
“Council had previously identified the Nowra Olympic Pool Renewal Project as a priority, allocating funding from other areas to ensure the long term viability of this important community asset.”
The $6 million project is made of up of $3 million in loan funds as well as additional funding from Section 94 Contributions and uncommitted funds which were previously allocated to the North Nowra Link Road project.