Investigative work has begun at Wellington Memorial Pool as Dubbo Regional Council establishes the best method of construction for the new pool.
The council will begin accepting tenders for the process in August and hopes to have it completed by October 2019.
On Wednesday, council workers drilled into the main pool, which was built in 1956, to determine its construction.
Dubbo Regional Council’s manager of recreation and open space Ian McAlister said they were surprised by what they found once they drilled through the base.
“We discovered the base is about 400 millimetres thick with reinforced concrete at the bottom, we’ve also discovered there is no sub-base.
“It’s constructed on natural soil, so that possibly contributed to some movement that occurred [and damaged the old pool].”
“I probably wasn’t expecting the concrete to be that thick and I was expecting the reo [reinforced mesh] to be higher.”
Mr McAlister said that was the benefit of the survey, allowing them to learn lessons from the previous build. The new pool would also be a concrete construction, but would have a sub-base to prevent cracks and leaking in years to come, Mr McAlister said.
DRC mayor Ben Shields said the new pool would be an exciting improvement for locals and a major boost for the town.
“It will be a much better complex, more user friendly, more friendly for families. It will put Wellington up there as having one of the best facilities for towns of its size,” Cr Shields said.
Wellington-based councillor David Grant said the centre would also help to attract carnivals and competitions to the town.
“There’s $8 million going into it, which is a huge investment for the town and it is an economic driver, bringing people in is important. We can bring bigger events to host and be able to showcase Wellington,” Cr Grant said.
“It will cater for people with a disability and the elderly with improved access. The current pool has poor access so that has been a focus.”
Cr Shields said it was unfortunate Wellington would have to be without a pool during the 2018-19 summer but said there was no way to rebuild the facility in between swimming seasons.
“It’s one of those things that is unavoidable when you rebuild a big facility like this.
“We can’t have a run-down facility like this in Wellington and look the public in the eye saying we provide the best facilities we can. We have to have a major upgrade, a brand new pool, but it will take some time to build.”