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Plans for Alpine Aqualand roof repair well underway

Council officers are close to confirming a long-term solution to repair the roof above Alpine Aqualand, the swimming pool facility at Queenstown Events Centre.

In November and December last year, contractors removed the pool hall’s ceiling tiles, a number of which had come loose posing a safety hazard to customers. This essential work required Council to close Alpine Aqualand for five weeks.

After a thorough investigation into the root cause, a recommendation to allocate $2.3 million for tile replacement and ventilation improvements was presented to Council on Tuesday this week for its consideration as part of the 2019-2020 Annual Plan submissions process.

Council will make a final decision on this and all other Annual Plan submissions at the Full Council Meeting on 27 June.

QLDC Sport and Recreation Manager, Simon Battrick said a temporary solution of applying tape along the plastic barrier to protect the main roof structure is coming to the end of its useful life.

“The closure late last year to remove all roof tiles was required at short notice to protect the safety of all pool users. The temporary solution then gave us the opportunity to conduct a Building Management System review and thoroughly investigate the underlying issue. This proved to be insufficient ventilation creating patches of ‘dead air’ especially over the hot pool and learn-to-swim pool,” said Mr Battrick.

“The proposed $2.3 million budget, if approved by Council next month, will enable us to implement the outline plans we have been working on with specialist contractors since the closure.”

A minimum three-month lead time to procure key items for the repair from overseas means that the earliest work could begin is September this year.

Mr Battrick confirmed that Alpine Aqualand will be closed for several weeks while repair work takes place.

“Any pool closure is unfortunate and will obviously have an impact on individuals, families, local clubs, schools and our own staff. But first and foremost we have to ensure our facilities are safe for all users which I am sure the community will agree has to be a priority. We are looking closely at how the work could be staged to minimise disruption to pool users and maximise the skills of our aquatics staff. Likewise, we are investigating a variety of temporary solutions that could provide opportunities for the public to access other pools in the region, such as those at Arrowtown and Wānaka, while Aqualand is temporarily closed,” he said.

“Naturally, given its size and how many people use the facilities every day, there is no direct substitute that will satisfy everyone’s needs but we are working hard to identify possible options and will provide the community with more information as we have it.”

“This will be a major capital project that requires detailed planning, costing and procurement. However, we have an opportunity in the final quarter of this year to implement a long-term solution that will maintain Alpine Aqualand’s position as the pre-eminent aquatic facility in the Queenstown Lakes District for many years to come,” said Mr Battrick.

QLDC Sport and Recreation will confirm the start date of the works, the total period of closure and how this will affect members and regular users as soon as possible once final project plans and costings are agreed.

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