The Namibian (Windhoek)

23 January 2013

Namibia: Swakop's Water Cube to Open Soon

THE new public pool in Swakopmund is nearing completion as some of the most important components, the roof trusses, were put in place this week.

According to Quinton Liebenberg of the Lighthouse Property Investment Trust, there are only a few more components that have to be in place before the 'Water Cube' (as the pool and recreation centre will be known) will be opened - hopefully by the end of March.

It was hoped at the time of the launch of the project in November 2011 that the pool would be finished for the 2012 December holidays, but this had to be delayed because of the builders' holiday and because of some of the fittings and containers only arrived recently.

The four steel trusses, weighing between 12 and 16 tons (and about 48 metres long) were lifted about 15 metres where builders had to fasten them to the rest of the structure.

The component to follow this is a first in Southern Africa: blue honeycomb cladding that will be spanned over the steel infrastructure (something similar to the 'Water Cube' pool arena built in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics).

"It's going to be awesome. On the inside too, it will have an amazing ambience with the cladding's 'mood altering' lighting that is affected by the sunlight on the outside. It's a first for Southern Africa," explained Liebenberg.

This cladding of the roof, and the lining of the indoor 25-metre-long (and 1,35-metre-deep) pool are the big jobs now, according to him.

The new pool that is situated next to the Vineta sports grounds will replace the old Mole indoor Olympic size pool that was closed by the municipality after more than 30 years because it was becoming too expensive to maintain. Developers also want to erect an upmarket facility at the old pool location, and so the municipality and the developers agreed that once the new pool was completed, the developers would be given the green light to continue with the Mole project.

"It's not a municipal pool anymore. It's a private project, but this time the ratepayer is not responsible for the upkeep of it. But it will still be available for all to enjoy. In the past, there's been alot of controversy around the pool, but now I'm getting fantastic feedback from all over," Liebenberg said.

Other components of the Water Cube will include a gym, commercial units, ablution facilities and parking space. The pool will also be surrounded by an artificial turf.

"We are very proud of this milestone," Liebenberg said.

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