ROOFING the 50-metre outdoor pool was one of the more universal findings from the Makino Aquatic Centre’s community engagement plan that drew more than 2000 replies from people interested in future developments at the complex.
The information-seeking project began late last year with a focus group and involved a tour of three lower North Island pools, a multi-choice public survey and a school design competition.
MAC Manager, Nick Mannix, said the community response had really built a picture and given an idea of what the Makino should look like in the not-too-distant future.
“What came through quite strongly was a desire to see more indoor water,” he said, “and many respondents were quite prepared to roof-in the 50-metre pool.”
Other requests included an upgrade of the changing rooms, more learning water for children and a wet play area and better car parking.
Mr Mannix said it had been surprising that some people had changed their minds regarding the roofing of the main pool, though all felt there should be an outside/inside flow with any change aimed at making users feel they were in an outdoor environment.
“The biggest wish from many people was the need for more safe water all year round, as there is often a clash of events and customers at peak times.”
He said Makino staff was now assessing the findings and investigating operational costs to ensure the complex remained a viable asset.
“We are currently doing the figures, but I don’t know what they are going to look like, though we will make certain they are sharp and accurate.”
Mr Mannix said the information-gathering exercise had been well worthwhile and he thanked those who had taken part.
“The community has said what it would like to see here and has given us plenty of food for thought,” he said.