Good riddance to an ugly hole

THE Albury Council is digging Thurgoona and its residents out of a giant hole that has been an eyesore for years.

The Thurgoona pool will soon be gone, with work already started.

The council set aside $50,000 for the project in its 2009-10 budget, which was not enough.

So it now has $183,280 set aside to remove the pool, compact the soil and extensively landscape the area.

“We are elated, absolutely thrilled. It has been a long time coming,” Thurgoona Community Centre co-ordinator Sherylyne Moran said.

“It gives us an area the community can use.

“We want to turn the area into a barbecue and recreation area the community can use.”

Concept plans show a community hall on the grounds near the neighbourhood house which would double in size.

Mrs Moran said the cost of filling in the pool, which closed eight years ago was considerable.

“It’s not just a matter of throwing dirt in the hole,” she said.

“It has to be compacted in layers so it’s safe to build on later.”

She said while the community missed having a pool, the areas had to be renewed.

“Its small size and the cost of supervising swimmers made it non-viable,” she said.

The council closed it in 2005.

Earthworks, involving levelling work and the removal of fences and a basketball ring, will be finished in three weeks.

In the next stage, stormwater drains will be installed the paved area around the hall will be extended, linking paths and a new irrigated grassed area will be planted.

A basketball ring will be installed elsewhere and a shelter built as part of next year’s works program.

Community centre board chairman Hugh Hargreave was over the moon yesterday.

“Isn’t it wonderful?” he said.

“We are finally getting something done.”

Mr Hargreave said the area would complement the development of a youth space at the neighbourhood house.

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