Much to celebrate in pool’s first year

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Making a splash is the new pool at the Wanaka Recreation Centre.
The Warren and Mahoney­ designed pool has been recognised for its architectural merits, winning the public architecture category at the Southern Architecture Awards held recently in Queenstown.
Jury convener Roger Beattie said the building ‘‘almost dissolves into the dramatic landscape thanks to the exterior palette of blended metal and timber’’.
‘‘It is a positive and accomplished piece of social infrastructure in an expanding and thriving town,’’ he said.
The pool has also been nominated for the INDE.Awards, which celebrates bold, visionary and innovative architecture and design in the Indo-Pacific.
Wanaka Recreation Centre manager Jason Lawless said a first birthday celebration was held at the pool last weekend.
Since it opened on June 10 last year there had been about 107,000 pool visits, which was an increase of more than 50% on the old pool.
Courtside participation had also increased by 11% over the past year which represented about 6000-7000 more visits.
Mr Lawless was in discussion with Wanaka’s new school — Te Kura O Take Karara — about how the pool would be able to accommodate sessions with pupils when the school opens next year.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council had appointed a new aquatics manager, Dot Leggett, who would oversee operations at both the Wanaka Pool and Alpine Aqualand in Queenstown.
Sport Otago’s community sports adviser, Tiny Carruthers, was also working at the facility helping support clubs’ growth and development.
With construction continuing to progress on the surrounding land, the recreation centre would eventually become ‘‘the green island in the middle of all this activity’’.
‘‘This is the place to come and play,’’ Mr Lawless said.

The Warren and Mahoney designed pool has won the public architecture category at the Southern Architecture Awards. PHOTO: SUPPLIED