Pool closure angers locals
The fate of swimming facilities at Orange Ex-Services Club in Central West NSW has finally been decided, with the pool closing its doors for good in the dying days of April. While not strictly a surprise, the outcome is not a welcome one for many community members.
The club had previously advised that the escalating costs associated with an ageing facility, along with staffing issues, would see the pool close in April. When reported in the local news, a flurry of letters to the editor ensued.
Apparently running at a loss for some time, investment into new plant and equipment including a filtration and heat exchange systems, along with a new pool lining, was deemed undesirable.
Orange Aquatic Centre will be the new home of swim school programs previously running out of the Ex-Services facilities, but locals are not happy.
According to a recent Australasian Leisure Management report, criticism around the role of the club within the community has been brought into question, as has the financial argument against refurbishment.
Public facility closures will always draw detractors and, as many of Australia’s publicly owned pools reach the end of their useful life, it’s a situation we are likely to see play out time and time again.
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