HOLROYD residents hanging out for a dip in the local pool this summer have been dealt a blow.
Almost a year since Holroyd councillors announced it would “bite the bullet” and address the area’s deserted and decaying pools, residents last Tuesday discovered the situation was worse than ever.
Swimmers were turned away from Wentworthville and Merrylands pools which failed to open on their scheduled date due to the breakdown of old equipment.
In response to the ageing pools, the council last Tuesday evening approved a feasibility study into building an Olympic Park-style aquatic centre at Hyland Road in Greystanes.
Mayor Peter Monaghan said the pools that had remained closed proved the “ancient” state of Holroyd’s aquatic centres and indicated the need for something new.
“Given what it will cost to get the pools up to standard we need to consider all our options,’’ he said.
Holroyd’s pools currently cost ratepayers $2 million dollars a year to run and are expected to cost $9 million dollars in repairs just to reach NSW standards.
The financial losses are due to low use by residents which many councillors believe results from the old pools’ lack of appeal.
Hydrotherapy, interactive activities like waterslides, health rooms, a spa, a sauna and a cafe have been suggested to help make the new proposed aquatic leisure centre in Holroyd appeal to residents.
The centre is expected to be funded by the sale of the current pool lands and should run at no cost to the ratepayer in the long term.
A survey of 358 residents undertaken by a council consultant found that 80 per cent of people agreed to a profitable upgrade of the pools.
But Greystanes mum Kayleen Dawson, who visited Guildford pool with her children on Tuesday, was cautious about a new centre at the expense of the old pools.
“I think [an Olympic Park-style pool] takes away from the community atmosphere,’’ she said.
“Sometimes smaller is nice but it if it’s not bringing in the people maybe bigger is better.’’
The current Merrylands pool was the other proposed site for a new aquatic centre but the possibility that it would encroach on football fields meant most councillors preferred the Hyland Road site.