Upgrade for pool first since 1971

By Michael Roberts | posted on September 11, 2020

A REDEVELOPMENT of the Mount Barker swimming pool has taken a big stroke forward after the Shire of Plantagenet voted to progress with the first phase of a $7 million project.

Stage 1A, which will cost $1.7 million, is scheduled to begin in March next year and involve the construction of a new main building that boasts a club room, change rooms, kiosk and admin area.

Designed by H+H Architects, Stage 1B includes plans to refurbish the existing 50m pool to modern standards and build a new splash area for young swimmers to learn their craft.

The final piece of the puzzle, Stage 2, will see the construction of a new western wing for the 39-year old facility, featuring a hydrotherapy pool, gym, change rooms and cafe.

Stage 1B is estimated to cost $2.8 million, while Stage 2 is valued at $2.5 million.

Shire of Plantagenet Executive Manager of Strategic Development Andrus Budrikis said the project would be the pool’s first substantial upgrade since it opened in 1971.

“The current gravity sand filter system does not deliver water at a sufficient volume to meet current regulations,” he said.

“This will be replaced by a pressurised system. The current splash pool is not adequate and does not cater as a learn-to-swim pool.

“The existing change rooms and toilets have reached their use by date and also do not provide sufficient facilities to meet current standards.”

The multi-million dollar project has been in the pipeline for almost three years after the Shire assessed the condition of the pool in 2017 and found filtration systems needed replacing.

A feasibility study was completed earlier this year, with Council voting to take the opportunity to do more than a simple filter change.

The Shire’s Recreation Advisory Committee worked with Mount Barker Swimming Club on the finer details of the design.

The committee voted to adopt solar heating as the heat source for the pools.

Mr Budrikis said the Shire would seek funding for Stage 1A by lodging a Community Sporting Recreation Facilities grant application this week.

“The Shire has also allocated $600,000 of the Federal Drought Communities Fund Extension to the pool redevelopment,” he said.