Ararat Outdoor pool costings revealed

ARARAT - Final costings for the Ararat Olympic Swimming Pool have come back and Ambrose Cashin said the pool committee currently has enough money to complete more than half the work.

In order to re-open the site work is required on the pool and plant room ($390,000), child activity area ($150,000), changeroom, entrance and kiosk ($350,000) and concourse ($50,000), which brings the total to $940,000.

Mr Cashin said the committee currently has $650,000 ready to put towards the redevelopment, which is made up of $450,000 from the Ararat Rural City Council, $100,000 from Ararat Community Enterprise and $100,000 from the community (40,000 of that is still to be raised).

"It leaves us short of about $290,000, so when you look in the scheme of it, we have taken a $4.1 million down to just under $1 million now," he said.

"It hasn't really come back any more expensive than we thought it would be, we always thought around $1 million. We have had to make some changes though, because we can't afford it, which include the wet deck conversion and the titling of the pool at this stage.

"We've got the money to get the pool and child activity area completed and we've got enough money to start the changeroom, but not quite enough to complete it.

"The thing is the changerooms will not just be for the pool, especially now the council islooking to rejuvenate the gardens, this would complement and make it a holistic project."

The pool committee has become an incorporated body but are still in the process of becoming a Committee of Management (COM) - once that status is achieved the group can begin construction work at the site.

Mr Cashin recently took Nationals candidate for Ripon, Scott Turner on a tour of the Ararat Olympic Swimming Pool and said the pool committee is looking to apply for a number grants from governments and other organisations.

"Scott Turner has come down and looked at our figures and taken time out to discuss our project which we thank him for," Mr Cashin said.

"We have contacted both Joe Helper and Simon Ramsay from the Labor and Liberal parties too, I've spoken with their office, but we are yet to meet with these people.

"We are continuing to pursue grants along the way. A number of people have been asking us if we have received money for the pool from The Biggest Loser and the answer at this stage is no, but we appreciate that they have a number of worthy recipients out there - we would love to put our hand up for some though if it is available.

"We see it as a viable and worthwhile project to encourage a healthy lifestyle."

The pool committee held a barbeque at Safeway over the Easter weekend with all money raised going towards the project, while a number of fundraising events are planned in the coming months.

A gala ball will also be held at the Ararat Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, May 24 with a number of bands to perform on the night and a major raffle to be run. Tickets to that event will be made available in the coming weeks.

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