Least disruptive time selected for EA Networks Centre pool closures in January

Traditionally low visitation numbers and the availability of alternate venues were determining factors in the Ashburton District Council’s decision to temporarily close the EA Networks Centre (EANC) pools in January for routine maintenance.

The Council will close the pools from Monday 7 – Sunday 20 January next year while grouting and sealant replacement is carried out on three of the four pools and maintenance work is completed in the facility changing rooms. This two week period has proven to be one of the Centre’s quietest times for the pools, with many people away on holiday, and usual swimming programmes not happening.

“We acknowledge the concerns from the community about why this particular timeframe was chosen, and I want to reassure residents that this timing was carefully selected to be of least disruption to visitors to the pool, Council Service Delivery Group Manager Neil McCann says.

“This two week period experiences one of the lowest visitation numbers the EANC pools see each year since the Centre opened. While it might seem contradictory, the height of summer and the school holidays does not appear to attract more visitors, or even sustain the same number we usually see at other times of the year,” he explains.

The Council has also selected a time when other facilities, such as the Tinwald pool, community pools and the Ashburton Domain paddling pool are all open. Had this work been scheduled for the winter months, swimmers would have no alternative options, and a number of swimming programmes would have to be cancelled.

All pools need to be maintained throughout their lifespan to keep them running at their best. While other facilities can do this in the off-season when they close, the EANC is open all year round, so a suitable time has to be chosen, Mr McCann adds.

“We’ve put a great deal of thought into the timing of this maintenance work to cause the least disruption to the community as possible,” said Chief Executive Hamish Riach. “We greatly value our visitors and have made every effort to ensure that disruption in service is kept to at a minimum,” he added.

The Council will open the Tinwald pool for additional hours during the closure to help accommodate swimmers. The pool will be open from 9.00am – 7.00pm each day and Learn to Swim classes will operate at the Tinwald pool as well.

People with an EANC Silver pool membership will not be charged their membership fee during the closure. People with Gold and Platinum memberships to the pools will receive a credit on their membership fee in the following payment cycle. The gym and café facilities at the Centre will not be affected during the temporary closures.

The pools and changing rooms are expected to reopen at 5.45am, Monday 21 January.​

Page reviewed: 27 Nov 2018 1:43pm