$350,000 grant massive boost for proposed new pool

A community project for a new swimming pool in Lawrence has received a $350,000 boost.

For the past three years, the Lawrence-Tuapeka community has been working towards building a new aquatic centre, to replace the old pool which is cold and has problems with leaks.

The project, which has an estimated price tag of $2.2 million, has been granted $350,000 from the Lotteries Commission.

Tuapeka Aquatic Centre Inc chairman Garry McCorkindale said the group was happy to receive the grant, which would give the project a much-needed boost.

He said community fundraising towards a new aquatic centre in Lawrence was on track to meet its $400,000 target.

''The local support for the project has been great.''

The group had almost finished fencing a 10km section of the Clutha Gold Trail as a fundraiser.

The pool project is capped at $2.5 million, a figure which includes landscaping and contingencies.

The ''Splash Out'' centre will have a large amenities room attached which could be used as a gymnasium. It would be built in the Lawrence Area School grounds.

''It will be substantially bigger and warmer than the old pool.''

The group was waiting for the outcome of several other funding applications over the next few months before a construction date could be set.

''We had hoped to be started by now, but it's now looking like we won't get started until next spring. We really need to build the pool over the warmer months.''

In the Clutha District Council's long-term plan, a grant of up to $1.1 million was allocated to the project - capped at 55% of the total project cost.

The grant will be repaid from Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board rates (60%) and Lawrence community services rates (40%), beginning the year after the grant is made. This means an increase of about $50 on the community board rates and little or no change to the Lawrence community services rates, as they will be offset by the elimination of costs from running the old council pool.

The council also agreed to provide a short-term, interest-free loan of up to $150,000 to cover pledged funds.

- helena.dereus@odt.co.nz