SNEAK PEEK: Ballina pool on track to be ready by summer
BALLINA Shire Council is confident the memorial pool and waterslides will reopen by summer with construction worker feverishly working to have the site ready for the warmer months.
Unrecognisable from its former self, the pool precinct has been completely fenced off with large piles dirt near the town's landmark waterslides visible from the street.
The council's manager of support operations, Tony Partridge said the pool, which has been closed since March, was on track for completion by November or December.
Leaks and aging infrastructure Mr Partridge said meant it was time the "much-loved" facility underwent a makeover, the largest since it was built in the 1970s.
A new amenities building, a childrens wet play splash areas and transparent fencing along the Richmond River with access ramps into all pools are highlights to feature at the revamped community asset.
The 50 metre pool will be retained along with a covered learn to swim, 25 metre pool.
Mr Partridge said he hoped the upgrade would help put Ballina on the map for regional water sport competitions and other related events.
"We definitely hope that we bring in extra users for sure," Mr Partridge said.
He said the redevelopment was meeting all environmental and health standards to ensure its longevity into the future.
"We are definitely meeting all of those requirements so that it is a facility that can run well into the next 40 years," Mr Partridge said.
Simultaneously, the council continues its upgrade of the Alstonville pool set to also open at the end of the year.
To help fund the pool upgrades, Ballina Shire Council in 2015 approved two consecutive increases over two financial years, 5.41% in 2015/16 and 5.34% in 2016/17.
It was estimated to generate an additional $1.6 million toward the upgrade.
The Lismore Memorial Baths, which were expected to reopen this month after the floods, remain closed indefinitely as repairs at the site continue.