Ongoing Splash Centre Woes: Apology - 23/06/2009
Mayor Michael Laws today publicly apologised to the residents of Wanganui, and especially users of the new Splash Centre facilities, as ongoing mechanical and design defects plague the centre.
“On behalf of the council and its contractors, I want to express my apology for the problems that continue to afflict this flagship family amenity. No-one involved with the new extension – designer, contractor or council – can escape responsibility for the continuing problems.
“That we are still experiencing pool closures some 14 months after the extension was opened is a sad state of affairs. I want to thank the Splash staff and the Wanganui public for their patience because mine has certainly expired on this issue.”
Mayor Laws said that two reviews had identified different issues and causes “but we are no closer to a solution. This Thursday another attempt will be made to fix the problems, but I’m not holding my breath.”
An upgrade of existing plant will be carried out this Thursday although it will take another couple of weeks to establish the effectiveness of the changes.
Electrical work for the plant upgrade commenced yesterday and there will be a 4 hour shutdown of the Splash Centre after 8pm Thursday to upgrade the heat pump and upgrade the air movement system.
After initial indications from council engineers that the poor performance was due to contractors and sub-contractors, “council staff have now informed me that the original design seems to be at issue too. In short, the design may not achieve what it was supposed to. We are closing pools when the outside temperature gets cold outside - around frost and freezing point. The heat pumps are not doing their job in ensuring temperatures remain constant across all the pools.”
Mayor Laws said that the revamped Splash Centre is “an outstanding amenity when it works. It has few national rivals. The problem though is that in cold weather it isn’t working properly. And 14 months of asking why, has not provided us with a definitive answer.”
An extensive and independent review has been requested by Mayor Laws and a full report will go to the next Council meeting on 20 July. As well, council has briefed its lawyers to determine any legal liabilities. As well, a daily watch has been established to determine the differing pool temperatures.