Extreme rains damage upgrade works to Geraldton Aquarena outdoor pool, work put on hold

Staff reporterGeraldton Guardian
Upgrade works to the Geraldton Aquarena in February 2022.
Camera IconUpgrade works to the Geraldton Aquarena in February 2022. Credit: City of Greater Geraldton

The revamp to the Geraldton Aquarena has hit a major setback, with works suspended after “extensive damage” was caused by heavy rains pushed south by cyclone Charlotte.

The $6.1 million project was set to be delivered on schedule and within budget, but now its fate remains up in the air as further investigations take place and the City of Greater Geraldton holds discussions with its insurers.

For the past few weeks, engineers have been evaluating the integrity of the outdoor pool.

City chief executive Ross McKIm said it was an upsetting development and the extent of the damage was still being determined.

“The Aquarena’s new outdoor pool was progressing really well and we couldn’t have asked for more from everyone involved. This news is a big blow for all, especially our community,” he said.

“We don’t have all the answers right now as the extent of the damage is still being determined. What we do know is that the project was going to be completed ahead of schedule and within budget, and the damage from the cyclone Charlotte storm front has pushed timeframes back significantly.

“This is no one’s fault and appears to be purely from the extreme rainfall that also impacted other parts of Geraldton as well as the Mid West.

“I know our community will be disappointed with this news, the Aquarena’s outdoor pool is very popular, and we ask for patience and understanding during this time.”

Spare a thought for the workers on the concrete pad this summer.
Camera IconWork on the concrete pad was undertaken in summer. Credit: Facebook/RegionalHUB

The facility’s outdoor pool had reached the end of its 50-year life cycle last year and was being upgraded to extend its use for a further 20 years.

The works included replacement of the pool’s concrete walls, installation of disability access ramps and stairs, retiling as well as a new water treatment plant, drainage and hydraulic systems.

The bulk of the project’s costs were being funded by the City, but it received a $750,000 State Government grant through the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund.

The City says more information will be announced in coming weeks.

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