Storm damage forces pool to close for weeks
The indoor pool at the Brunswick Baths will out of action until the roof can be repaired
The 20-metre indoor pool at the Brunswick Baths. Photo: Facebook
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 23, 2022
SOME activities at the Brunswick Baths have reopened but the main indoor pool remains closed indefinitely after the area was rendered unsafe by recent storm damage.
The spa, sauna, steam room, and indoor water play areas reopened at 5.30pm on Wednesday for the first time since Merri-bek Council made the decision on November 17 to close them as a precaution following damage to the 109-year-old centre’s roof.
On Sunday, council Chief Executive Officer Cathy Henderson said the indoor pool could be closed for several weeks until repairs can be carried out.
She said the roof had suffered structural damage from heavy rains and storms recently.
“The indoor pool area will remain closed until repairs can be completed,” she said in a statement.
“A structural engineer has inspected the premises and will provide us with a report shortly. We are working to engage contractors and it is anticipated that repairs will take several weeks.”
Ms Henderson said gym groups, fitness and outdoor pools would continue operating as normal and there were no safety concerns for patrons and staff using these areas.
The 50-metre outdoor pool and water play area is still open, as is the indoor gym.
It is understood that the damage was first discovered on November 17 during a routine inspection. It is unknown how long the indoor pool had been operating under the damaged roof.
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Photos posted on social media by South Ward Councillor James Conlan appeared to show part of the tiled roof had buckled and cracks were visible above the indoor pool.
The closure of the indoor pool comes just a month before school holidays begin, one of the busiest times of the year for the baths.
Learn to swim classes have had to be cancelled and families will be credited for lessons missed due to the closure.
Ms Henderson said Brunswick Baths members could either suspend their membership or use it to attend the council-owned pools at Coburg and Fawkner.
The baths are operated for the council by the YMCA Victoria.
The baths have been located in Dawson Street since 1913, and the current façade was built in 1927 and is considered to be of historical and architectural significance.
They last underwent major renovation works in 2011 at a cost of $17 million. The works ran almost a year over time because of the discovery of contaminated soil and other issues, causing the baths to close for almost two years in total.