After six long summers, Karoonda's pool will finally be replaced

A $1.4 million replacement for the current pool, not used since 2014, is on its way.

The winter solstice is not the ideal day to jump into a swimming pool, but after this long, Karoonda’s kids hardly mind.

Eight of them climbed down into their town’s empty pool today to celebrate the announcement that construction of a $1.4 million replacement would start within weeks.

The pool at Karoonda Area School has been closed since 2014, when it fell into disrepair.

But the signing of a construction contract means a new four-lane, 25-metre pool will now be finished by October.

An opening ceremony in November will kick off the first swimming season of some young children’s lifetimes.

The $1.4 million project will be jointly funded by the Karoonda East Murray council and the state government’s Department for Education and Office for Sport, Recreation and Racing.

Mayor Caroline Phillips said she was elated that the project had finally come to fruition.

“My daughter is just about to turn 10,” she said.

“The last time we used that pool was when she was a baby.

“(Karoonda residents) have been disadvantaged in that we’ve had to drive to have swimming lessons, so for kids locally it’s going to be huge.”

She credited the school’s governing council for driving the project, Reg Herrmann and the many others who had fundraised for the new pool, plus anyone else who had contributed.

State MP Adrian Pederick congratulated the school, council and community on the “wonderful” outcome.

“I am proud that the Marshall Liberal government is delivering this project for the community of Karoonda and districts,” he said.

“Mallee children will once again have opportunities to learn to swim that their city cousins take for granted.

“The community will also have a place to gather and cool off in summer.”

Photos: Adrian Pederick.