‘Most exciting community facility,’ says MayorBy Alan Tristram
The long-awaited opening of the Coastlands Aquatic Centre in Paraparaumu was a huge success, says the Kapiti Coast council.
Taeko drummers greeted guests as they arrived at the opening ceremony on Saturday and were followed by speeches from the Mayor, Jenny Rowan, chair of Coastlands, Richard Cathie, and chair of the Kāpiti Aquatic Centre Trust Neil Mackay.
The trio then cut a ribbon at the entrance to officially open the facility.
In the foyer, Councillor Diane Ammundsen unveiled a tile wall, displaying the names of about 800 supporters.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve all done to get here,” Mayor Rowan said. “Council has held fast to its vision for a centre that will meet a wide range of needs for people of all ages and abilities in the community – from babies through to people in their 90’s.” She said the pool was a ‘most exciting community facility.’
Four free sessions
Hundreds turned up to four free sessions at the Aquatic Centre throughout Saturday and were treated to demonstrations, races (including the participation of a number of Olympic swimmers and New Zealand age-grade representatives), prize plunges and tours, as well as the opportunity to try the pools and hydroslide.
A ‘Have a go’ day was held the following for people to try activities, such as aqua fit, aqua jogging and swimming lessons, free of charge.
“We had a huge response on this day too with those who turned up really enjoying themselves,” Aquatic Facilities Manager Alison Law said. “Now we’ve had the grand opening, it’ll be good to see people using the pool as part of their daily lives.”
The new swimming pool replaces the old Raumati pool, which closed two weeks ago.
Aquatic Centre’s facilities
The Aquatic Centre’s facilities include:
• a 2.4m deep main pool with moveable floor so the depth can be varied
• a programmes pool
• a toddlers’ pool
• a hydro slide
• spa pool & sauna
• on-site physiotherapy practice
• a café
It’s believed to be the first swimming pool complex in Australasia to feature a translucent ETFE foil roof, which lets in natural light and will substantially reduce heating and lighting costs.
The 25 x 25m main pool has a moveable floor that will make it multifunctional, suitable for competition swimming and deep-water sports as well as lane walking and aqua fitness.
The Coastlands Aquatic Centre was built by the Kāpiti Coast District Council, initially under Mayor Alan Milne, in partnership with the Kapiti Aquatic Centre Trust, which launched a fundraising effort.
Realisation of long-held goal
The Trust chair Neil MacKay said the opening was the realisation of a long-held goal.
“When we embarked on this project we could never have anticipated some of the hurdles we’d face from the tough financial climate to the collapse of our main contractor, Mainzeal.”he says.
The Coastlands Aquatic Centre was weeks short of completion in March when Mainzeal went into receivership. So the Council worked with the receivers and sub-contractors to finish the project.