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The Clutha District Council chose between two options for the new facility in Milton’s main street during its meeting in Balclutha yesterday.
During consultation, both the overseeing Bruce Community Facilities Trust and the main funder, the council, favoured a cheaper, six-lane, $13 million-$14 million combined pool and library-service centre complex.
An eight-lane complex on an expanded 3360sq m footprint (versus 2713sq m) was tagged at $18 million-$20 million.
Yesterday, councillors voted 14-1 for the less costly option, saying it better represented the community’s wishes.
During discussions, councillors said the six-lane option was sufficient for a community of Milton’s size at present and it would also allow for anticipated population growth.
Cr Lloyd McCall said he had recently visited a five-lane pool in Christchurch where five people were sharing two lanes, while the remainder of the pool was used for "aqua-cise" and other activities.
He encouraged project leaders to consider similar flexibility of use during the detailed design process.
This was supported by Cr John Herbert, who said that only 5% of pool users were lane swimmers.
"The rest of the people are there for family fun or leisure swimming," he said.
In response, council chief executive Steve Hill said the two options presented allowed for a variety of interior fit-outs.
"The [Bruce Community Facilities Trust] can still look at changes within those final designs."
Trust chairman Stephen Woodhead said he was "very pleased" to receive the council decision.
"The real challenge is now in front of the community, to get stuck in and raise some funds.
"It’s an exciting opportunity for the district."
The new complex will be built on the site of the current council library-service centre in Union St.