Letter | Pool facilities need to keep pace with city’s growth

AS a regular user of the pool, I would like to add to the recent comments about the closure of the outdoor pool and the Aquatic Centre overall.

With climate change, we are currently experiencing longer seasons and warmer days.

Representations were made to keep the outdoor pool open throughout April with monitoring weekly due to warmer days. This fell on deaf ears as the March shutdown date, four days before Easter, was set in stone and it would appear our bureaucrats are inflexible.

We are now left with a 25-metre, eight-lane indoor pool for half a year that is no longer fit for purpose.

The demands on the indoor pool are excessive due to peak early morning times, lanes booked, lanes railed off for all sorts of reasons, after school use, classes, etc, and lane widths not adequate to share for freestyle swimming.

We hear trotted out that the numbers overall have not changed. This is missing the point. All facilities have peak and non-peak times.

We know Bathurst is a growth area; just look at the urban sprawl. Facilities need to grow and maintain pace.

The Bathurst outdoor pool water is heated. In New York in winter, all-weather covers are placed over outdoor facilities to enable continued use. A New York winter is much harsher than a Bathurst winter.

We live in times where a greater emphasis is placed on exercise for a balanced life. Public facilities are for the common good, maintained by public funds as a community service.

We need to find a way to make greater use of the 50-metre outdoor pool throughout the year by more flexible time use as a demand-driven facility.

Maybe the council should investigate a temporary covering similar to those in New York to weather-proof the facility to enable greater use throughout the winter months.

At the end of the day, the Aquatic Centre is a wonderful facility.

Like all facilities, it must evolve over time to meet the changing needs of the community, similar to the upgrade that we have recently seen at the library.

Kevin O’Meara, Bathurst