ADDITIONAL funds have been allocated for the Gunnedah Memorial Pool renewal project for more intensive excavation.
Gunnedah Shire Council (GSC) resolved at the December council meeting to allocate an additional $250,000 to the project from council’s unrestricted general fund for excavation and backfilling of the void of the proposed location of the future 25-metre heated pool.
Micheal Silver, contract project manager at GSC, told the NVI the additional sum was only a “provisional sum”.
“At this stage we’re not sure if we will need all of the additional funds,” Mr Silver said.
“However, we know the primary purpose of the funds is strategic, so there aren’t any issues in the future when it comes time to excavate for the new 25-metre pool.”
Mr Silver said the need for additional excavation was not surprising.
“It was identified as an issue earlier in planning and now is the best time to tackle the issue as it wont disrupt any current works,” he said.
Councillor Murray O’Keefe said the funds were to help prevent further costs in the future.
“There is certainly a desire to do this project right and under budget,” Cr O’Keefe said.
“However if we don’t set aside the funds to do this now we could end up doing further damage to the new pool in the future.”
Mr Silver said “collateral damage” is a possibility if the excavation is not carried out.
“As we went along in the excavation works, it became obvious that not doing the works now could lead to collateral damage to the 50-metre pool, the kids wet area and possibly the new pavillion as well,” he said.
“By doing the excavation now it will also have an enormous benefit when it does come time to upgrade the 25-metre pool, as what we will be backfilling the void in with is going to be much easier to excavate than what is there now.”
Mr Silver said the additional works would not delay the project and that works are currently on schedule.
“Since we began demolition work the old 50-metre pool and the toddler’s pool have been demolished, and demolition work on the main pavillion is about 80 per cent complete,” he said.
“The other excavation works won’t delay our progress as we can do other work at the same time such as constructing the new 50-metre pool which we hope to begin doing in about mid-January.”
The project is set to be complete in October 2018 and the current heated pool is open for locals to use during the summer months.