A long road ahead for Aquarena pool refurbishment

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Spare a thought for the workers on the concrete pad this summer.
Camera IconSpare a thought for the workers on the concrete pad this summer. Credit: Facebook

Work to refurbish Aquarena’s 50m outdoor pool is well under way, but there is still a long road before it can welcome visitors again.

The 52-year-old pool was slated for a major upgrade in October 2021, a decision which drew widespread criticism as the timing knocked the pool out of action over summer.

However, Mayor Shane Van Styn said though the timing was not ideal, the availability of workers and materials, as well as the length of the project meant shutting down over summer was inevitable.

“Apart from the fact the job is an 18-month job, it would be difficult to achieve this type and scale of work in the rain in winter. Essentially a huge hole in the ground with a huge amount of concrete formwork,” he said.

The $6.1 million rebuild has so far stripped the original tiles back to reveal and restore the bare concrete, and work is now beginning to replace the ageing hydraulic and filtration systems, which are buried beneath the pool.

The City estimates these upgrades will extend the life of the pool by 20 years, bringing it in line with the expected lifespan of the rest of Aquarena’s facilities.

“At that time, the future council can then make the decision on the size and type of aquatic facility that the next generation of our community will want or need,” Mr Van Styn said.

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