New independant expert report casts doubt on Hornsby Council's claim that Epping pool must be demolished, and says how in fact it could be restored for the next 50 years!
An important expert report has been released into the condition of Epping Pool and shows the condition of the structure is not as critical as has been previously indicated by Hornsby Shire Council, or to warrant its immediate closure and demolition.
The report, commissioned by Epping RSL Youth Club with the support of the Save Epping Pool group, was prepared by independent pool experts, Stevenson & Associates Pty Ltd. It acknowledges that Epping Pool whilst the pool was built 50 years ago and has not had substantial updating since construction, their assessment is that following refurbishment the current structure could continue to serve the local community for another 50 years.
The report goes on to list actions needed by the council to properly assess its future, and gives an indicative cost of less than $1.5m to restore it. Much less than the nearly $30m spent on Hornsby Pool!
In particular, the report addresses key areas that Hornsby Council has raised as reasons why the pool should be demolished, and refutes them:
The report finds Council has failed to properly measure any water loss, source of such loss and means by which it could be fixed. Claims put forward by council that the pool is losing 15,000 litres of water a day cannot be substantiated without this proper assessment and is therefore spurious.
The report addresses important, but not costly, ways in which a full and proper assessment of the integrity of the pool structure can be made. This would then yield the full information needed for a future masterplan for the site. In particular, the report says ‘There are no signs that I could see or have been reported of the pool structural shell being under stress. No cracks have been identified.’
Plant and equipment
The report identifies important features of the pool reaching the end of their life and gives advice on what the council needs to undertake to address these. The pool has been starved of any capital expenditure for decades so none of these issues are unexpected or unfixable.
The Save Epping Pool group urges Hornsby Shire Council to now do the right thing. This report lays the ground work for a proper plan for Epping Pool, immediate minor maintenance needed for it to re-open in October for the summer season and then the foundations for council to make applications for state and federal funding to fix the major capital works.
The Pool is due to be discussed by Hornsby Council next on 10 June. Make sure your voice is heard by writing to the Mayor and Councillors saying this report should be adopted and its recommendations implemented. The contact details are on the How to Help tab at the top of the page.