The pool within the $17 million Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre has sprung several leaks, forcing its closure for most of January.
The Centre’s acting manager Yonika Mantel conceded that the closure would be happening at ‘the worst possible time’ but was unavoidable as the pool needed to be drained, repaired and refilled.
The centre was opened in 2009 and was described at the time as a ‘state-of-the-art sports and aquatic centre for regional Australia’.
But six years after opening, the centre’s maintenance officer Simon Speidel noticed that the volume of water and chemicals being used had increased.
He commissioned divers to enter the pool to inspect the PVC membrane and balance tank (which holds water overflow until it goes through filtration) only to discover several leaks within the lining and the balance tank itself.
A fault was found with the seals, and the company that constructed the pool is now sending over new material from Italy to replace the lining, which will be installed at no cost to the council.
Ms Mantel said although the repairs would not be a burden on ratepayers, ‘the reality is we will lose substantial business over the summer holidays, which will affect Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre’s bottom line’.
‘More importantly, we are devastated that this will inconvenience so many local families who use our facility. Unfortunately we are faced with no other option than to close the pool,’ she said.
‘Our sincerest apologies go out to all our members and visitors – this is the worst possible timing for something like this to happen, but it must be repaired as soon as possible and it’s not something we can postpone,’ she said.
‘Anyone with pool memberships and the general public can visit the Lismore Memorial Baths during this time.’
All Holiday Swim Intensives will take place on the same dates and times as advertised, at the Lismore Memorial Baths.
Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre’s gym SWITCH and the Kid Zone will operate as normal with all group fitness classes as programmed.
The Centre’s Aqua classes will be held at the Lismore Memorial Baths. People can phone 6625 5370 in 2016 for class times.