The Maclean Pool as a large storm builds overhead.
The Maclean Pool as a large storm builds overhead.

DELAY: Maclean swimmers face big wait for pool reopening

IF YOU'RE looking for a swim in Maclean this coming season, you've got a wait in store.

The pool, which is undergoing significant renovations to its filtration system and plant room, will reopen two months late after major issues hindered the rebuild.

The news comes in a report to Clarence Valley Council's Corporate, Governance and Works committee meeting this Tuesday.

The upgrades were started in April to coincide with the pool's shutdown, with work scheduled to be finished by September 26.

However, multiple issues with the build have now pushed the date back to November 28, more than two months over schedule.

>>> DELIVERED: Maclean pool's new pride and joy

The filtration system was found to be in poor condition in council's asset management plan and required urgent replacement to maintain the water quality at the pool.

The project was to replace filtration equipment, pumps and included the construction of a new plant room.

According to the report to council, there was very little information regarding the underground services and site conditions dating back to the original construction of the pool.

"This lack of information has resulted in the contractors striking a number of latent conditions and unexpected services," the report states.

An aerial photo of the Maclean Pool
An aerial photo of the Maclean Pool

The issues included the return pipe from the pool to the plant room being deeper than expected, which caused logistic and safety concerns.

There was also a stormwater culvert found under the existing plant room, and a multitude of live and redundant services were encountered on excavation.

Following the demolition of the plant room, tree damage found on the adjacent swim clubhouse meant that approximately 40 per cent of the swim club's brickwork needed to be removed and replaced.

Further investigations by the council led to a safety inspection of the site causing worked to stop, and a review initiated by SafeWork NSW. These issues are now resolved.

The problems caused a budget increase of around $34,000; however, the current cost of over $1.15m falls within the planned budget. A revised design to include the reuse of an existing balance tank helped minimise costs of the overrun.

Maclean Pool redevelopment photos
Maclean Pool redevelopment photos

Valley Pool Services Pty Ltd runs the pool, and during the period of repairs, the report states the pool contractor is relieved of the obligations to provide the service. However, the council is required to pay the management fee that the contractor would receive if they satisfied all requirements under the contract.

Manager Open Spaces & Facilities for Clarence Valley Council Peter Birch said that there was hope that the pool would be able to offer 0-5 learn to swim classes in the baby pool before the new opening date.

"At this stage, the 50m and the toddlers' pool will be closed until November."

Mr Birch said the council was in discussion with the pool contractors concerning annual passes.

"People who have purchased an annual pass will not be disadvantaged, and council will come to an arrangement with the pool contractors to make sure that a solution is found to this," he said.

Mr Birch said the pool filtration system was at the end of its life and the work means that the pool will be able to operate without the risk of the filtration system failing.

"It has also enabled us to construct accessible change rooms and toilet space making it an upgraded and accessible facility," he said.

The council committee will meet this Tuesday to consider the report.

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