Once Otago’s ﬁrst gold-rush town, the small rural community of Lawrence has once again demonstrated the measure of its mettle with the development of a $2.5 million dollar swimming pool complex—“Splash Out” Tuapeka Aquatic Centre.
When the old town pool reached the end of its life, the community made the brave decision to investigate the development of a new multi-use complex.
It was a decision that would take the community on a six-year journey, becoming a labour of passion for architectural designer Mark Fahey, managing director of Fahey Design Ltd.
Growing up in Lawrence and spending manya-day enjoying the old town pool, Dunedin based Mark was thrilled to be given the opportunity of playing, what he terms, just a small part in the project. “A few people in Lawrence knew me, so they asked me to help with feasibility.
We came up with a site location, a concept and did some renders that we could put numbers against.” Mark completed the initial feasibility and design work on a pro-bono basis.
It was crucial work to get the project off the ground and develop the momentum required for the application of grants and a massive community fundraising effort.
The Ministry of Education donated land on local school grounds to site the complex and the Clutha Council injected $1.3m into the coffers.
The small community of around 1000 souls raised a whopping $400k while the balance came from grants. Local contractors undertook the site excavation, donating time and machinery – signiﬁcantly assisting the bottom line cost of the project.
“I seriously take my hat off to all the great people of Lawrence and the surrounding area,” says Mark. “They saw the design, decided they wanted it, and made a commitment to getting it built.”
Finally opening its doors in 2016, Mark’s comprehensive design of the 1400sqm complex includes comfortable changing amenities, gas powered showers, toilets, family rooms, ﬁltration room, a 200sqm gym / multi-purpose room, spa pool room and three swimming pools. The main pool is the 25m 6-lane lap pool.
Toddler and learners pool are connected to each other and sit next to the main pool. All pools are tiled. A centralised staff/First Aid/Ofﬁce room enables the building to be fully monitored.
Constructed of pre-cast concrete wall panels along with colour steel proﬁled metal wall cladding and ﬁbre cement sheet, the building’s North facing twin-skin ﬁbreglass proﬁled roof helps mitigate against condensation.
“It really was a privilege to help the community build a new facility that many-a-future generation can enjoy.”
Passionate about a broad range of architectural design, from residential, commercial and industrial right through to swimming pool complexes, Mark has been operating on his own account for the last six years.
Working from the sunny climes of St Clair out of the old Post Ofﬁce building that he shares with another designer, Mark operates the depth and breadth of New Zealand.
“I love everything about design. It’s ultra interesting, it’s challenging and it’s forever changing.”
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