Both the Woolgoolga (pictured here) and Sawtell pools are approximately 37-years-old.
Both the Woolgoolga (pictured here) and Sawtell pools are approximately 37-years-old. Trevor Veale

Pools past their 'end of life' and will need to be replaced

A CONSULTANT has found both the Sawtell and Woolgoolga pools are 'past their end of life' and need to be replaced.

Coffs Harbour City Council engaged SGL Consulting Group to conduct a review of the aging facilities and to provide a strategy on any upgrade.

Community surveys and stakeholder consultation has also been conducted to help guide the process.

The report confirmed the cost of upgrading the pools, which are both approximately 37-years-old, was very close to the cost of replacement and would therefore not be justifiable on a long term economic basis.

The report recommends replacing toddlers' pools with modern splash pads and replacing the current learn to swim pools as they are not likely to meet the required standards in the future. Amenities and kiosk buildings will also need to be updated.

The Woolgoolga pool may need to be relocated within the existing square block of land it currently sits bordered by Ocean Street, Carrington Street, Market Street and Queen Streets.

The site is divided into three separate lots, with one of them in the south-eastern corner the subject of an unresolved Aboriginal Land Claim.

This may impact the final location of the pool complex on the site.

The block, which looks across to the new surf club currently under construction, has also been identified for possible other commercial or community uses through the Woolgoolga Town Centre Masterplan process.

Therefore councillors will have to make sure any future upgrades do not preclude other possible uses of the land.

The Sawtell Pool was the subject of a change.org campaign early last year as Coffs Harbour City Council contemplates its future.
The Sawtell Pool was the subject of a change.org campaign early last year as Coffs Harbour City Council contemplates its future. change.org

Currently the Sawtell and Woolgoolga pools are both 25 metres and consideration was given to the costs and benefits of installing new 50-metre pools but the report has recommended 25 metre structures in each town expanded to 8 lanes with adequate accessibility for the elderly and disabled.

Access by people with disabilities into the Woolgoolga pool is not available and a hoist is provided at the Sawtell pool although hoists are not considered best practice for a modern aquatic facility.

The matter will be up for discussion at this week's council meeting where councillors will consider endorsing the 'Strategy for Sawtell and Woolgoolga Swimming Pools Final Report' and putting it on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days.



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