17 Jan 2017

Build begins on new Christchurch pool

3:12 pm on 17 January 2017

Work has started today in Christchurch on building a new swimming pool to replace the old QEII complex.

L-R: David East, Dalziel, Kim Money and Willy Pitama

Left to right: David East, Dalziel, Kim Money and Willy Pitama Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

The home of the 1974 Commonwealth Games was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake and since then the east of the city has been without a pool.

The old QEII boasted a 50m pool but in a controversial decision this will not be replaced, with the city's main competition pool being rebuilt in the CBD instead.

The new lane swimming pool will be 25m long and will be complemented by one for children, a hydro slide and a gym.

The start of construction today was marked with a sod turning ceremony involving the mayor, Lianne Dalziel and William Pitama, a swim instructor who worked at QEII from 1974 until its closure in 2011.

He has already applied for a job at the new facility and said the east of Christchurch has been crying out for something like this.

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