Mittagong Pool thrown a lifeline
Wingecarribee Shire Councillors have voted to repair Mittagong Swimming Pool following extensive damage sustained in June’s East Coast Low Storm event at Wednesday evening’s Council Meeting.
A detailed report examining the extent of the damages and repair options was presented at the final meeting of the year.
“It was clear from the presentation that the damage sustained to Mittagong Pool is far more than cosmetic,” said Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Councillor Ken Halstead following the meeting.
“The entire base of the Learn to Swim Pool in particular has sustained severe structural damage.”
The damage sustained to the pools was as a result of floodwaters penetrating under the existing base of the pools over the weekend storm event of June 4.
The report also included a brief history of the pool revealing that the site was originally used as a dam for the re-filling of steam engines travelling on the adjacent rail line. Earliest documented records indicate the site was first used for recreational swimming as early as the mid-1870’s. The pool underwent several refurbishments before being officially opened in 1931. In 1959 the baths were converted to an Olympic-size pool.
“A major challenge with the pool is that it was essentially built on the bed of the Nattai River by our forefathers 85 years ago,” the Mayor said.
“Obviously our Shire’s early leaders could never have foreseen the difficulties this site would present when they decided to build the pool here,” he said. “And structures built early last century without the luxury of modern building practices will always present their share of challenges.”
“However councillors have unanimously resolved to rebuild the pool and protect the legacy of this beautiful and much-loved site.”
“The location of Mittagong Pool will always present issues during heavy rain and flood,” Councillor Halstead added. “However with this rebuild Council will endeavour, so far as practical and affordable, to minimise the extent and cost of similar incidents next time the site is inundated with floodwaters.”
Following the unanimous decision Council will now undertake discussions with specialist consultants to rectify Mittagong Pool as soon as practical.
No timeframes or final costings for the repair and re-opening of Mittagong Swimming Pool have been finalised.