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Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry has welcomed a key milestone in the project to rebuild Naenae Pool, with the appointment of AECOM to provide Project Management Services.
This appointment kicks off the next stage of the project between Council and the Naenae community, and formally lays out the next steps for rebuilding the Pool and revitalising the town centre. AECOM will partner with Council to coordinate and manage this once in a generation project for the people of Naenae and the wider Lower Hutt community.
“We are thrilled to have AECOM on board to progress the next stage of the Naenae Pool rebuild and revitalising the town centre,” says Lower Hutt Mayor Mayor Barry.
“They will bring significant experience and expertise in project management and aquatic facility construction management to ensure we can deliver the best possible result for the Naenae community, Lower Hutt and aquatic sports.”
AECOM was selected from an extremely strong field of more than 20 companies who expressed an interest in being involved.
“This partnership includes an agreement that all workers on the project will be paid at least the Living Wage and they’ll also be looking for opportunities for local companies and service providers to contribute,” says Mayor Barry.
“With the Naenae town centre spatial plan also recently approved by Council, things are really starting to gather momentum.”
The next steps in the process involve geotechnical testing and site preparation, and early next year the project team will be working with the community on pool design which is the next big milestone. As part of the design conversation the project team will be looking at new sustainable technologies which will limit the impact of the pool on the environment.
“We’re currently working through a process of converting many of our existing facilities including pools from gas to electricity. With the new Naenae Pool we have the opportunity to set a new benchmark for our facilities,” says Mayor Barry.
Ian Martin, AECOM’s Wellington Regional Manager, says the team is looking forward to delivering a top-quality aquatic facility for the people of Lower Hutt and pool users in the wider region.
Funding for the pool project will be included in the draft 2021/2031 Long Term Plan, which will go out for public consultation in March 2021. The Government has also announced $27 million co-funding for the project a COVID Response and Recovery initiative.
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In December 2018, the Learners Pool area of the Naenae Olympic Pool complex was closed due to concerns over public safety in a significant earthquake.
After further engineering inspections on 10 April 2019, we received similar advice on the area housing the main pool, fitness suite and offices. As a result, the entire facility was closed to the public immediately.
In 2019 we started a community engagement project: Voice of the Community. This was to ensure we had a strong direction from the community on its future vision for the pool, town centre and the delivery of other council services.
The engagement focused on the Naenae community, residents of wider Lower Hutt and pool users from around the region. This included:
- the Naenae Pool Survey
- interviews with 150 people in the Naenae community
- community workshops and open days.
The Naenae Pool Survey ran from September 24 to 18 October 2019 and received 2,876 responses. A third of respondents told us what suburb they live in, and of those a quarter live in the Eastern Ward suburbs.
There was strong support from all groups for replacing the pool and a sense of urgency for the pool to be reopened as quickly as possible.
You can read more about our Voice of the Community Project here.
A report that concluded the community engagement findings was presented to Council on 11 December 2019. Council listened to the community's needs and agreed that replacing Naenae Pool alongside a spatial plan to reinvigorate the town centre is a key priority.
Update – July 2020
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown in April/May 2020, council prepared a one-off 2020-21 Annual Plan. In this plan, $1.5m was allocated to complete further work on moving forward on the co-design process for the project. The project budget amount to build the pool will go through the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan process starting in early 2021.
Council has also applied for a Grant through the governments ‘shovel-ready’ project fund. We should hear the outcome of our application in late July.
What are the objectives of the pool project?
If the project is confirmed, the objectives are to provide a new facility that:
- Meets the swimming, fitness and aquatic needs for the Naenae community.
- Where possible, is suitable for competitive swimming, water polo, canoe polo and underwater hockey.
- Creates a space for the community to socialise inside and out.
- Engages the council, community and wider city in the design process.
- Fits within the existing Hutt and Wellington Region aquatic network.
- Aligns with council’s sustainable and environment strategies.
- Aligns with council’s wellbeing and leisure strategy.
- Reduces long term operating costs and environmental impacts through the use of emerging technology - particularly in energy and water use, lower carbon emission during construction and when the facility is operational.
- Supports and connects with the town centre and spatial plan.
- Meets the requirement outlined in the Voice of the Community Report (PDF 2.8 MB)
These objectives and outcomes are a result of the extensive engagement process.
For more information about the Naenae Pool project, please contact Stephen Keatley.