Save Chewton Pool
Chewton Pool is such an oasis for us all on hot days and a real hub for the community. When we swim in the sparkling waters, maintained by our skilled staff, it may not be obvious that the pool is ageing and that we now face a desperate need to undertake works to keep the pool operating. In 2010 we successfully campaigned against the prospect of the pool closing. Now, we must stop our precious pool from falling apart.
The pool shell is now over 50 years old and the steel reinforcing inside the cement is beginning to corrode. We will be having a thorough engineering assessment made of the pool shell next year to identify the issues. In the meantime, we have been exploring waterproofing options with different contractors to determine the best way to proceed. We have decided to focus on the toddler pool in the short term. The coating will be stripped back to the raw concrete, the surface patched and made good, then it will be repainted. Some of this work will require the expertise of professionals and some will be undertaken by volunteers.
Similar works will be required on the big pool, although this will not happen until after the forthcoming season. When we get the engineers report on the condition of the concrete shell we will be able to plan for the rectification works. We don’t know the cost of these works but we are fairly confident that it is going to be a significant sum of money.
Ever since the Chewton community took control of the pool, the COM, and all the volunteers who have served on it, have operated the facility with a bare minimum of income. All operational costs other than staffing, have come from the local community through memberships and admissions, kiosk sales, and fundraising events. While the aim has been to keep admission costs as low as possible, it means that income has only ever just equalled our operating costs. Each time the committee was able to put some money aside to save, an essential piece of equipment would fail and any savings would be spent on repairs.
This COM has begun planning to increase income so that we can save for replacement and/or maintenance of our ageing assets. We have commissioned a strategic plan to give us direction for the future and planning for asset replacement was highlighted as a major issue that we needed to address.
We are now turning to our community because we require your support to plan and prepare for the future of the pool. We will be organising a big fundraising drive this season and a series of fundraising events and we will need community support. We are also pursuing grants, donations and other sources of income.
Please get involved by coming to events, become a member, support our Swim School, donate and ask family and friends to contribute. If you have time to assist we could really use your help.
Chewton Swimming Pool is our asset. We need to keep it going for the future and for the community.
We have done it before! Let’s come together and do it again!
Chewton Committee of Management, December 2021