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Work starts on new Lyttelton pool

By Caitlin Porter, reporting for the Christchurch Mail

Lyttelton groups have been excited to see work start on the town’s earthquake-damaged pool.

The Norman Kirk Memorial Pool is one of several outdoor pools closed since the earthquakes because of extensive damage, and is one of the Christchurch City Council’s 30 priority projects for funding.

With the pool out of action, Lyttelton students have been travelling across town to Pioneer Pool for their swimming lessons, and Lyttelton Primary School principal Diana Feary said it was “exciting” to see progress on the much closer local pool.

Contractors started demolition work on the pool site last week and expect to complete repairs by mid-December.

Project Lyttelton operations manager Anne Jaiswal it would be a great resource for the town’s kids. “It’s really exciting that we are able to get onto it.”

Apollo Projects senior project manager Greg Macdonald said demolition would last about five weeks and would cause some disruption as breaking up the existing buildings and concrete floors was the “noisiest part of the project”.

Contractors would do their best to minimise disruption and had notified residents with a letter drop last week.

Lyttelton/Mt Herbert Community Board chairwoman Paula Smith said the board was just glad to see work start. “Bring it on.”

Questions had been raised at the board’s last meeting [May 21] about potential delays around the pool’s historic retaining wall.

Smith said the fact that much of Lyttelton was a heritage site did make rebuild work trickier.

“The whole geotechnical site could be a lot more complex, but barring something major like that it should roll out pretty smoothly.”

Replacing the Norman Kirk Memorial Pool and improving parts of it, including sun shading and increasing the size of the toddlers’ pool, is expected to cost about $2.65m.