Hundreds of people turned up on Sunday to celebrate the long-awaited opening of Roxburgh’s new, $3 million outdoor pool.

The ‘‘immensely proud’’ pool committee chairman Sally Feinerman said she was thrilled to be opening the pool for Christmas.

The solar-powered facility was the result of collective efforts by many people over more than 16 years.

It was built on the site of the 91-year-old former pool, which was demolished in 2022.

‘‘The builders did literally put their tools down on Friday,’’ Mrs Feinerman said at the official opening.

So cold . . . Zoe Scoones, 5, Miller Alley, 7, Senna Alley, 5, all of Alexandra, and Lottie McDowell, 5, of Roxburgh. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK

Mrs Feinerman was eloquent in her praise for the support and funding from many trusts and organisations, including the naming sponsor Ida MacDonald Trust.

The pool was not just a structure but a place of enrichment for the community, Mrs Feinerman said.

‘‘It is a symbol of unity and resilience . . .a testament to what a small community like ours can achieve when we come together with a common purpose and a shared dream,’’ she said.

When asked more than 12 years ago to join the committee, she had no idea what a roller-coaster ride it would be, and she was not sure if she was ready for another project yet, she said.

After the ribbon cutting by Mrs Feinerman and Central Otago mayor Tim Cadogan, the visitors and public were able to enter the pool for a swim and a feed.

Roxburgh Pool opening, Sunday December 17 2023 Mayor Tim Cadogan and pool committee chairwoman Sally Feinerman cut the ribbon. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK

First to take a dip was Donna Parker, a former neighbour of the late Knobby Hills farmer Ida MacDonald, for whom the pool was named.

Mrs Parker learned to swim and brought her children to the old pool and was looking forward to swimming with her grandchildren at the new pool.

The Ida MacDonald Trust was a key funder of the pool and Mrs Parker said her neighbour would have been delighted to see it open.

‘‘Miss MacDonald was our neighbour out on the Knobbys. She would be so proud.

‘‘The water is very refreshing. They have done a great job. The location is awesome,’’ Mrs Parker said.

Roxburgh retiree Alistair Mouat (76) enjoys a dip on opening day.

Retired Roxburgh resident Alistair Mouat was thrilled with the four-lane 25m pool.

‘‘It is brilliant. It is warm — 27°C — and the right depth to swim in. I will be here early in the morning and do a few lengths. It [the site] is pretty special, overlooking the river and close to the school,’’ Mr Mouat said.

Reeve McDouwell (10, with Poppy Smith (12), who was the scissor bearer during the ribbon cutting ceremony, and Kit Moore, all of Roxburgh.

However, a trio of junior swimmers were not so enthusiastic about the temperature in the 10m junior pool, exclaiming they liked the pool, but it was ‘‘so cold’’.

The swimming pool is next to bike trails and the Roxburgh Area School and overlooks the Clutha River.

The opening hours are 6.30am to 8pm.

Mrs Feinerman asked the public to bear with the team as minor finishing touches were completed over the next few days.

More details are on the Roxburgh Pool Facebook site.