The 25-metre lane pool at the Richmond Aquatic Centre has temporarily closed, as the centre undertakes some much-needed repairs on the pool over the next few months.
The lane pool will be closed for two months, between March 25 and May 25, for scheduled retiling. This process requires the pool to be completely drained. Current tiles will be removed and replaced. This time also allows for the essential drying time for the tiles to be met.
The work is required to improve the longevity of the pool, the Aquatic centre says. “There is no perfect time to do this” says Vaughan Hope, the facility manager. “At the end of the day, the investment is worth it. We have seen huge growth in pool use over the last few years, from Swimming to Aqua Health, to sports.” Vaughan describes the lane pool as one of the centre’s ‘biggest assets.’ “If you want it to last, you have to look after it.”
Vaughan says that growth for the facility has increased every year, growing from under 200,000 users annually eight years ago to over 300,000 last year. “The end result is going to be really great for all of our users. We have seen a lot of support and enthusiasm already.”
Two years ago, the wave pool was closed to be renovated, and the team said that the experience has given them some ideas as to how they can be innovative with the upcoming project, and how they can figure out how to best use the space that they already have.
The wave pool will be used during the morning and the day to replace some of the functions of the lane pool, such as Aqua fitness classes on one side and lane swimming on the other, and the Hydro pool will also hold several of the Aqua fitness classes. Marketing co-ordinator Crystal Gaiger says that the wave pool was rarely used during the morning or the day, as “the kids are all in school anyway, so it just made sense to repurpose it.” The wave pool will still operate as usual during after school hours and during the weekends.
Riverside pool will also be an option for swimmers, who can use their existing pool memberships there.
The lane pool closure comes not long after the centre had to close several of its other pools, in order to reduce its water use during the drought.
However, the Aquatic Centre is not wanting to waste its water and is looking with the council into ways that the water drained from the lane pool can be reused.