Swimming centre reopening attracts big crowd despite cool weather

Murray Bridge's swimming pool is back open for 2020-21 after a $2.8 million upgrade - and there'll be more work in years to come.

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More than 350 people have braved cool weather to experience the season-opening day at Murray Bridge Swimming Centre.

Despite Friday’s cool conditions, most still got their togs on and took a dip in the newly refurbished Olympic pool and two children's pools.

They slid over the pools' new stepped edges and eased their way in down a new access ramp; and beneath the water, their toes felt the new non-slip linings installed in all three pools as part of a $2.8 million upgrade.

Once they’d had enough, they got dressed in the much improved change rooms, then lined up at a Rotary barbecue for free sausages and burgers, and the kiosk for free ice-creams, drinks and chips.

Entry was free for one day only, too, courtesy of the Murray Bridge council.

State Sport and Recreation Minister Corey Wingard, whose government put $1 million into the redevelopment, cut a ceremonial ribbon with Mayor Brenton Lewis, whose council paid for the rest.

Mr Wingard described it as an “outstanding” facility.

“The new lights, the facilities inside, the water park there, the new pumping station and the like all look fantastic,” he said.

“The community should be rightly proud.

“I know that with a little bit more sunshine – I’m told Monday could be the day when it hits about 31 – it will be used.”

Mr Lewis thanked the state government for its contribution.

“Local government may well be nearest to the people ... but we’re not the biggest in revenue-raising or tax collecting,” he said.

He also pointed out that the works completed this winter represented just the first stage of a $32 million, five-stage project.

The council’s master plan for the swimming centre calls for a cafe, indoor children’s pool and a doubling in size of the centre’s car park to be built in stage two.

A 25-metre indoor pool and a dedicated hydrotherapy pool would then be built at a later stage, depending on available funding.

In the meantime, anyone who hasn’t had a chance to visit the pool yet might like to consider Monday or Tuesday.

After a warm, sunny Sunday, the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures in the 30s on those days before much cooler conditions arrive later in the week.

Photos, video: Peri Strathearn.

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