UNE Pool Reopens: Ready, set, swim!

The day we have been waiting for is finally here, the construction of SportUNE’s indoor state-of-the-art geothermic pool is complete. The pool’s long three and a half year closure has ended, giving students and the wider community a new facility to look forward to in 2020 – granted, with the appropriate safety precautions. If you’re trying to find a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, SportUNE’s newest addition may just be it.

The bleachers in the new pool

Since the closure of the swimming pool for renovations in 2016, university students and the wider community have been closely following its progress. The renovations of the pool were a necessity as the pool had a slow leak and was not capable of handling the capacity of people who wished to use the facility. Before the construction began, significant time was spent planning the pool to ensure its environmental sustainability, which was of high importance for SportUNE. Constant discussion with the Regional Council was maintained to determine the best time to refill the pool. The approval of the necessary 600 thousand litres was a waiting game for SportUNE amidst Armidale’s level 5 water restrictions.

Being a new facility, priority was also given to ensure it is a family-friendly, positive and safe environment. This has been achieved by safety features including inbuilt steps for safe entry, a splash deck, and retractable grandstand. David Schmude says the pool was a “significant investment environmentally and financially that will be a positive attribute to sportUNE.” From the sneak peek we have seen, the long-awaited reveal will be worth the wait. With architectural design by Tim Earnshaw and the construction done by Patterson Group Construction, it is impressive in all aspects of layout, design and execution.

The construction of the indoor heated pool has been a long process that has finally ended with the completion of the 25-meter six-lane pool. The new pool has heating, filtration and geothermal control that keeps the pool at 27 degrees, while the air is heated at 28 degrees. This one degree stops condensation so as not to affect the windows, walls and maximise water retention. The indoor heated geothermic pool has been a significant undertaking, but SportUNE believes that investing in the students’ and communities’ experience is a wonderful opportunity for them and is well worth the coveted wait.

SportUNE is pleased to announce that they are expecting to gain upwards of 300 members as a result of the renovations being completed on the pool. They have also ensured that their members’ considerations and needs will be taken into consideration; what they want for the pool is a priority. As part of this, SportUNE is working to include programs and activities such as aqua, water polo and swimming club to fully utilise the new facility. There will also be an opportunity for employment as a lifeguard at the pool.

As for the cost, SportUNE has included charges for use of the pool in the pre-existing price of membership. The cost of entry for the pool will be free for all members; however, for non- members, the cost will be dependent on age. For adults, it will be $6 and 5-15 years will pay $4. For those under 5 years, it will be just $2.

Members of SportUNE will have access to the pools facilities during the opening hours of 6am-9pm on weekdays and 8am-6pm on weekends. It is important to note for non-members that they will be able to use the facility from the hours of 1 pm – 5 pm on the weekend. On Sunday, members and non-members will have the ability to use the pool inflatables. Bookings can be made for the indoor pool, ranging from one lane to the whole pool.

The SportUNE website states they are taking precautions during CO-VID19. More information can be found by calling their customer servie line at (02) 6773 3856. Before visiting the pool members and non-members are required to check the SportUNE timetable to ensure the pool is available for the use, especially during the ongoing pandemic. This can be found in the link here.