Final preparations needed for Tamworth Olympic Pool (City Pool) to be ready to reopen once water restrictions ease has met an unexpected challenge with the discovery of major structural damage.
Specialist contractors arrived in Tamworth yesterday to get started on the necessary extensive repairs to concrete along each side of the 50m-long pool at a cost of about $80,000
Tamworth Regional Council Manager Sports and Recreation, Paul Kelly, is confident the work will be completed in the coming weeks providing no unexpected problems are encountered.
“While this is not something we were planning to do now, the good news is this work will help preserve the longevity of this community asset,” he said.
“Our hope is that by the time the work is completed in early November we have had enough rain to take the water level at Chaffey Dam to 30 per cent, triggering an easing of water restrictions for Tamworth. Moonbi and Kootingal to Level 3 so we can fill the pool and the community will be able to dive in.”
The structural damage is to the concrete deck on both sides of the pool which hangs over the gutter where pool water is collected to return to the filter system.
“Deterioration of the concrete deck has been monitored through ongoing regular inspections and when checked in January this year by a structural engineer it was identified as requiring replacing in the next three to five years,” Mr Kelly said.
“Staff recently noticed the cracks have become considerably worse and following further engineer inspections Council decided that it was too high a risk to open the pool in its current state.
“The safety of our community is always our first concern and councillors agreed to spend the money needed to do complete the repairs – coming on top of the more than $80,000 spent on substantial maintenance work there during the past 12 months.”
The first step in the repair work has been the erection of scaffolding along each side of the pool. The specialist contractors and Council staff will start cutting concrete today to remove the damaged cantilevered section.
Tamworth Olympic Pool closed in April 2019 and has not opened since due to the ongoing drought. Under the Tamworth Region Drought Management Plan, the pool does not open until water restrictions for Tamworth are on Level 3. Tamworth’s South and West Memorial Pool (Scully Pool) was operated last summer using bore water.