Splashing out on pool pays off for mayor
By NERIDA BLOK
LOOKING over Lismore's upgraded Memorial Baths, which may open as early as next week, Merv King knows he made the right decision.
The Lismore mayor made the casting vote for the redevelopment back in 2003 when Lismore City councillors were locked even.
"It was six for and six against. Mine was the casting vote," Cr King said.
"I haven't had one person come to me in the past three years say: 'You did the wrong thing'. It is a regional facility and will accommodate any event."
At a total cost of $9.75 million, the redeveloped swimming complex includes three heated pools: One Olympic size, one 25-metre warm-up pool and a toddler wading pool.
Development and governance executive director Lindsay Walker said the memorial factor was taken into consideration in the design of the baths.
"There's a lot of sentimentality about this, the fact it's a memorial pool," he said.
"For this reason the alignment of the water bodies, with respect to the entry to the memorial building, has been maintained. This reflective element has always been important to the returned services."
The design has even landed council honours in the Northern Rivers Urban Design Awards.
The council started looking 10 years ago at options for the baths, which were built in 1928.
Mr Walker said with structural problems and changed health regulations requiring variations in pumping and chlorine, all the pool parts and equipment had been up for review.
An official opening is set for September 18.
Mr Walker said the baths could be open to the public as early as next week, depending on how long it took to get certification.