New pool to open next week

Barbara Hogbin admires the refurbished pool, which she has helped to fund.
Barbara Hogbin admires the refurbished pool, which she has helped to fund. TREVOR VEALE

NEXT Monday you’ll be able to dive into Coffs Harbour’s ‘new’ and much-anticipated pool.

But if you plan to be the first one in to the refurbished War Memorial Swimming Pool, you had better arrive early – keen young swimmers will be on the doorstep at 5.15am.

Although it looks as though there is quite a bit of work still to be done, Coffs Harbour City Council’s project manager Jason Bailey is confident the last lick of paint will be dry by the time the weekend is over.

“It has all been smooth sailing, the contractors have been unreal and very helpful – the only glitch has been the weather, there has been too much rain,” Jason said.

“When the last really heavy rain arrived, the only thing we had left to do in the pool was the black (lane) lines – that rain half-filled the pool, but we had to drain it to re-lay the black lines.”

The contractors are local company Swimplex Aquatics.

The pool will have an official re-opening on November 17.

The special guest at a preview of the $5 million renovations this week was Barbara Hogbin, who handed over to Cr Jennifer Bonfield a cheque for $750,000 from the Hogbin family towards the upgrade which Cr Bonfield said was ‘a wonderful legacy’.

Mrs Hogbin taught swimming at the pool for many years as well as being a keen swimmer herself, and said yesterday she would be using the new heated pool as soon as it opened.

Cr Bonfield, the chairwoman of the council’s Corporate Business Committee, said the city had the infrastructure and capacity to host aquatic championships.

There is no pedestrian crossing close to the pool, but the council’s acting general manager Ben Lawson said the council would look at the possibility of creating one in Coffs Street, although the sight lines in the street might not allow this.

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