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Deakin Swimming Pool – an Oasis it ain’t

By Duke - 4 October 2008 37

Years ago the Oasis Swimming Centre in Deakin was just as its name suggested; a fresh, brightly coloured facility with superb pools, nice indoor and outdoor areas (remember the big slide, the worm?) and ultra-modern compared to every other Canberra pool at the time.  The place was new, super clean, the showers hot and the place well kept.

Anybody been there lately?  What I encountered last week was a building that looked on the verge of being condemned.  I’m not sure who the regulatory bodies for buildings and swimming pools are but I don’t think this place is in good enough condition to be in business.  I’d take some photos but i doubt i’ll go back.

Where does one start?  From the moment you step in to the home-renovated front entrance you notice the once fresh paint is now faded and peeling off damp walls.  Where there is no longer paint, mould and rust stains have taken over and cover virtually every surface. Rust is a major feature – rusty pipes, rusty roof trusses, rusty change rooms and bathrooms – the place is a tetnus shot waiting to happen.  Everything drips.

Hygeine and safety are frighteningly absent.  Leaves and muck have blown in the big open side doors but nobody bothers to sweep it back out again.  Lightbulbs are missing in the mens changerooms so one must navigate a dark, slippery passageway in order to access it.  Changeroom ceilings are the standard height but with no exhaust fans the place is a steamy, soggy breeding ground for bacteria………starting with the mould patches on the roof and dripping down the walls. 

Bandaids on the bottom are a feature of every pool, but Oasis goes one better by having entire bricks down there.  Strangely, there are signs everywhere saying you MUST where a swimming cap.  I have decided this is to protect you from the pool, not vice-versa.

The only good thing I can say about it is that it’s relatively cheap ($5) and so few people go there that it’s easy to swim laps, but to say this place went downhill would be a major understatement.

Prediction:  Deakin Oasis is treading water and being in a nice neighbourhood the place is ripe for redevelopment.  Expect to see the end of Oasis in the next 12 months and an entire mini suburb of nasty, over-priced townhouses and yuppy flats take its place.

Oh Deakin Oasis of yore, how I miss thee. 

What’s Your opinion?

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37 Responses to
Deakin Swimming Pool – an Oasis it ain’t
Duke 4:40 pm 07 Oct 08

Phillip pool is also closed, so despite Oasis currently having a monopoly on the area people are still avoiding it. Says it all really.

I have heard only good things about CISAC but is a bit far to travel from Woden.

justbands 1:47 pm 07 Oct 08

Given the other complaints about the place, you’d think they’d be begging trainers to bring clients there!

Cameron 12:38 pm 07 Oct 08

An exclusivity deal with another trainer? HAH! Now that is ridiculous.

justbands 11:35 am 07 Oct 08

Ha! Timely that someone should post about this place. My trainer took a client here the other week (on account of the fact that Civic is currently closed). After 5 or 10 minutes watching his client swimming, they were approached & asked to leave by a rather rude manager of the place. I believe they have some sort of exclusive arrangement with another trainer, which I guess is kinda fair enough…but the way they were treated was disgusting. They were sworn at, threatened & given no reason why they were asked to leave. I won’t be going there….& with Civic currently closed (& Tuggeranong also I believe?), their attitude is going to do them out of a LOT of business. I’ll make the trip north to CISAC instead.

swimbaby 10:40 pm 05 Oct 08

I noticed they did close over this long weekend to do some cleaning etc. Hopefully it makes an improvement. I do swim there each day and the staff are doing their best in a pool that should have been closed long ago.
Also, there are plans in the front foyer for a new pool across the road. Knowing this government though they will wait till it falls down to contemplate it. Seeing the state of the building though that shouldn’t be far off.

harvyk1 3:19 pm 05 Oct 08

Spectra said :

God, I used to pass that place regularly three years back and genuinly assumed the pool part had been closed down, it looked in such disrepair. It never even occurred to me that people might still swim there…

I drove past there last Thursday and had assumed it had closed down, obviously their doing something wrong. Maybe they know their about to be closed down, so they don’t see the point in maintenance.

Duke 5:56 am 05 Oct 08

Nice response heinous. Oasis used to have indoor cricket/soccer facilities but it looks like these have already been turned into swanky offices. That part of the building looks very fresh, there is a new cafe and lots of black 4WDs and little European sports cars parked out front.

My major beef with the pool is that there appears to be a serious OH&S issue and i’m not sure it’s even legal for a business to operate under the current conditions.

Holden – I felt nervous in my Speedos I assure you!

Holden Caulfield 10:56 pm 04 Oct 08

If you reckon I’ll have to navigate a dark, slippery passageway to get entry into the men’s change room then I think I’ll take your advice and steer clear. 😉

heinous 10:16 pm 04 Oct 08

I’ve had a search on the Internet and it looks as though there was a bit of an argument in 2005 about the upgrade of the pool. Apparently the people who run the pool want to upgrade it but don’t have any money. Their plan is to have the area re-zoned so they can build an office block on site. They can then sell/lease this to pay for the upgrade. A Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 205 has been prepared. The Government wants the pool upgraded before they re-zone the land. See Hansard at The result of this is a stalemate. Also apparently the NCA and ACTPLA don’t want anymore office area development in Deakin West as the roads infrastructure would not be able to cope with the extra demand. I don’t know how things turned out. The committee responsible was Mick Gentleman, Zed Seselja and Mary Porter.

Spectra 10:12 pm 04 Oct 08

God, I used to pass that place regularly three years back and genuinly assumed the pool part had been closed down, it looked in such disrepair. It never even occurred to me that people might still swim there…

sepi: Passed civic pool today – it is being refurbished as we speak (or, at least, they’ve torn down that horrid bubble thing and seem to be erecting (hur hur) a more permanent structure in its place).

ramblingted 9:35 pm 04 Oct 08

bd84, I think you are thinking of Deakin Health Spa, now Fitness First

bd84 7:41 pm 04 Oct 08

I thought the got rid of the pool and made it all into a gym many years ago.. I guess they must have tried both at the same time.

Granny 7:25 pm 04 Oct 08

Sounds a bit like it was when I used to have swimming lessons there in the 70s. It is a pretty old building. Still, they refurbished it once so I guess it could be done again

sepi 5:37 pm 04 Oct 08

Civic pool is pretty tragic these days too, although it is apparently going to be refurbed in time for this summer – they’d better get a move on.

CHW 5:34 pm 04 Oct 08

Yeah, not only is the pool FILTHY but my son developed viral pneumonia – three weeks after starting swimming lessons there.

I award Oasis the score: YUCK.

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