Business Central December 2023

110 | COMMUNITY Hutt City Council & Apollo Projects: Naenae Pool and Fitness Centre T T Kelly Deeks Pool complex taking shape at Naenae Phone: 04 568 3171 Email: Electrical, Data & Security ELECTRICAL Proud to be associated with Hutt City Council & Apollo Projects Seven Electrical – The industry leader delivering the highest standards of Integrity, Customer Service, Craftmanship, and Value The Naenae community is finally seeing its new pool and fitness centre rise out of the ground, as Apollo Projects and the construction team hit a huge milestone at the end of October with completion of the structural steel, and now moves on to install the roof membrane, precast panels, and Kingspan roof panels. Hutt City Council Neighbourhoods and Communities director Andrea Blackshaw says the massive cranes currently working on site can be seen from far and wide. “There has been so much planning behind this project since the doors of the old pool closed in 2019. Apart from the demolition of the old pool mid last year, the community hasn’t really seen anything happening on site, so for the past 12 months they’ve been able to see the pool coming up out of the ground bit by bit. They can see their new future taking shape and it’s a lovely thing.” The new pool and fitness centre, and the redevelopment of associated buildings in “The building and investment is starting to catalyst other investments. When the community centre opens, then the pool three months later, Naenae will be in a fantastic position.” the town centre has been community-led, with Andrea saying this is probably the most closely Hutt City Council has ever worked with a community advisory group. As well fulfilling the many and varied needs of the community today and in the future, the project also had to bring broader economic and training benefits for local people as well. “The majority of our suppliers and contractors are local. All the structural steel was completed by local company Petone Engineering, and we’ve got another local supplier, New Wave Aquatics in Taitā, producing parts for our two zoom tubes. As we redevelop the Post Office heritage building in the middle of Hillary Court into a brand-new community centre, Lower Hutt company Duncan Commercial Construction has taken on two new apprentices to be part of this team, giving local young people an employment opportunity and a pathway into the construction industry.” Hutt City Council wanted the Naenae community to leave its handprint on the pool building so to make this happen, has got them involved in a large-scale artwork being developed by local weaver Matthew McIntyre Wilson. Matthew is developing a Waka Maumahara for the building’s entrance to welcome visitors and is hosting a series of Kaupapa Māori workshops with the community, Ngā Whetū Hei Whai - To Pursue the Light, where locals can weave starsand learn about the story of Te Ngaengae. The resulting stars will be photographed and incorporated into a vinyl film which will be applied to the windows of the Naenae Pool. The closure of the earthquake damaged Naenae Pool in 2019 left a huge hole in the town centre and its retailers and businesses, who had enjoyed the foot traffic from the pool through the pedestrianised shopping mall Hillary Court, felt the hit. Hutt City Council, retailers, and community groups have been working hard on the rejuvenation of the town centre and now empty shops are being filled, and new sites are starting to pop up in town. Alongside this, the Council is working with the community to redevelop the park adjacent to the pool, through a collaborative design process which will see it reimagined as an inclusive outdoor space for Naenae. “We can see and feel that rejuvenation is happening,” Andrea says. “The building and investment is starting to catalyst other investments. When the community centre opens, then the pool three months later, Naenae will be in a fantastic position.”