Water playground to be built at Murray Bridge Swimming Centre

A water playground will be built at Murray Bridge Swimming Centre this summer.

The splash pad – a play area featuring fountains and other novelties – will replace the centre’s beach volleyball court, which has scarcely been used in the past five years.

The $300,000 development, intended to attract more families to the centre, is one of several measures being considered to encourage aquatic activity in Murray Bridge.

The council also hopes to get an inflatable waterslide installed at Sturt Reserve this summer, though nothing is official yet.

A temporary unit featuring three slides, 54 metres long and three stories high, proved popular at at Victor Harbor last summer.

The council would subsidise the cost of entry to make it more affordable for families.

The ideas came from a report into the city’s swimming centre which found it still had at least 20 good years left but needed some TLC.

The main pool has a leak, its tiles are cracking, its filtration system is not up to the job and many of the buildings that surround it are getting old.

Repairs would be easy enough, if expensive: about $1.5 million would keep the pool operational well into the 2050s.

But new facilities that could open year-round would give the community more bang for its buck, consultants DWP Suter advised.

A new, 25-metre indoor pool would reduce demand for the hydrotherapy pool at the Murray Bridge hospital, which gets heavy use from sportspeople and others recovering from injuries.

That would cost about $2.5 million, though the council would seek grant funding to reduce the impact on ratepayers.

Its construction would rule out a new aquatic centre closer to the riverfront, which councillors were told would not be viable until Murray Bridge's population reached about 40,000.

Murray Bridge Swimming Centre opened in the late 1950s with a visit from Dawn Fraser, reigning Olympic champion in the 100 metres freestyle.

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