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.