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The first concrete for the 25m and learn-to-swim pools was poured yesterday. Delays in negotiating the final details and pricing of the facility with contractor Cook Brothers meant the original opening date of September had to be pushed back. The project is now expected to be completed by March next year.
At last week’s Queenstown Lakes District Council community and services committee meeting, sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick said the work on the $12.3million facility was progressing well.
"We’re moving, we’re digging, we’re on budget. We’re not going to stop."
Mr Battrick said about $600,000 of the $12.3million the council had budgeted for the facility, still needed to be found.
The council was looking at funding options, including sponsorship.‘I don’t think we need to fundraise.
"We have a large number of trusts we’re working with; lots of opportunities will arise."
Operational planning had also started, which included the development of an expressions of interest process for the swim school. Cr Ella Lawton sought to ensure the Wanaka community would be involved in any decision on the facility’s swim school.
The council’s general manager for corporate services, Meaghan Miller, said no decisions would be made until consultation with councillors and the Wanaka Community Board had taken place.
Deputy mayor Calum McLeod visited the site yesterday with community board chairwoman Rachel Brown and said the community should start getting excited about its new asset.
"I think this will just end up going through the roof in terms of popularity. Never mind the triathletes and athletes, it’s going to be those 5-year-old kids coming here to learn how to swim who get the most out of it."