Taren Point Swim School's new centre hit by financial problems

Construction of a new indoor swimming centre at Caringbah has come to a halt because of a huge cost blowout.

The facility is planned as a new home for Taren Point Swim School, which will soon have to leave its present pool to allow redevelopment of the Caringbah Home retail centre.

Swim school operator Bruce Abbott said the new centre was originally expected to cost $1.8 million.

However, the projected final cost had risen to $3.3 million, which he said was due to mistakes by others, including a bank,  before construction started.

Mr Abbott said he was continuing to explore ways to complete the project.

It was supposed to take six months to build, but it has now been two years.

Taren Point Swim School operator Bruce Abbott

He said substantial work stopped in August last year when $600,000 could not be raised to continue construction.

“We are about 12 weeks away from finishing it,” he said.

“It was supposed to take six months to build, but it has now been two years.”

Mr Abbott said he wanted to apologise to the families who attended Taren Point Swim School, including the swimmers he coached.

About 740 pupils attend the centre and he employs about 20 teachers.

“It has been a very stressful couple of years, and it has affected the way I interact with the swimmers,” he said.

Mr Abbott starting started teaching at the Taren Point pool when it operated under the Greg Rogers brand.

He took over the business, leasing the pool, about 2004.

When Adventus, the owner of Caringbah Home, purchased the property to expand the retail centre, Mr Abbott had to find a new pool.

He said he invested $800,000 in building the new centre in the commercial estate that was developed on the former Parke-Davis (later, Pfizer) pharmaceutical manufacturing site.

The main pool is 25 metres with five lanes, ranging in depth from 1.4 metres to 1.6 metres, while a separate learn-to-swim pool is 1.2 metres deep.

“We have the latest technology for heating and chlorinating, facilities for people with disabilities and awesome bathrooms,” he said.


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