H2O Xtream upgrade project

  • Project typeProperty/construction
  • Project value$51M
  • Project scheduleJun 2019 - Dec 2024 (completion date to be confirmed)
  • Contractor nameMaycroft Construction
Junior pool (002).png

Project summary

It’s hard to believe that H2O Xtream is 26 years old. It has served our community and visitors from all over the region well in that time. But the facility is ageing; it requires a lot of expensive, ongoing maintenance and needs a complete overhaul. Doing nothing is not an option.

This upgrade project was first proposed, consulted on and supported by Council and the community in 2018.

2018 - 2021

Our detailed design work and planning highlighted the need for additional investment to make sure H2O Xtream meets our community’s current and future needs.

The drivers for the design and associated upgrade works is to respond to the changing face of our community, with an increase in both elderly and young family patrons; to retain our niche position as a fun destination in the regional aquatics market; maximise opportunities for operational cost savings; and create a more sustainable facility.

In addition to the new water spaces proposed, key components  are:

  • Sustainability investment: The replacement of the gas boiler heating with an electric heat pump system and the plant upgrade to use modern, safer filtration (replacing out dated technology). It is estimated the heat pump should reduce running costs of the upgraded facility by $109,000 per year (a 25% saving on current) and result in an 80% reduction in CO2.
  • Hydroslide rebuild: A significant upgrade of the slides further enhances the aquatic offerings to the community and will renew H2O Xtream’s reputation for aquatic fun. Due to the site footprint available, it became apparent that reconfiguration of the hydro slides was required to accommodate both additions in new water space and improved pedestrian access to parts of the facility (including new water space). Meanwhile further asset investigation has shown the slide tower needs significant upgrading.
2021

We sought further community feedback on two options—a partial or full upgrade—as part of the development of the Long Term Plan 2021 – 2031. With 79% of respondents submitting their preference for the full upgrade, in June 2021 Council approved proceeding with the full upgrade starting this current year (2022).

Due to escalating costs across our infrastructure projects, we've had to consider some additional options for how we deliver this project to ensure what we plan to do remains affordable for the community. 

2022 - 2023

After again consulting with the community as part of the Annual Plan 2022 - 2023, we are proceeding with the upgrade at a revised cost of $51M. This will be completed in a single stage over years 2022 – 2024  to achieve an upgraded, state-of-the-art aquatic facility for our city.

While higher in cost than planned, this option provides the overall least cost and highest benefit over the shortest timeframe. It also contains less uncertainty (but not zero) with regard to further cost escalations and complexity of delivery.

In December 2022, with the costs of materials and labour continuing to rise, the exchange rate fluctuating for the procurement of pool equipment, and a tight labour market, we’ve had to rethink how we deliver this project. 

To ensure we can stay within budget while still delivering the critical elements of the project, Council has decided to change the scope of the upgrade removing the cafe and the hydro pool from the scope of works. 

While it is disappointing to have to exclude some features of the upgrade we want to stay within approved budgets as we are mindful of the increasing costs on everybody. The design allows us to ensure that additions can be made in the future.

Closure

To complete the project works as quickly as possible in an efficient, cost-effective and safe manner, the facility will be closed for approximately half of the total construction period. This is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

The great news is that we have partnered with Fulton Swim School to offer public swimming and hydro, and with Trentham School for swimming lessons while H2O is closed.

Design overview

This flyover video and the photo gallery below provides some glimpses of what the full upgrade may look like once all works or stages are completed. 

Construction updates

19 JANUARY 2023

Less than three weeks to go until H2O Xtream closes for a major upgrade! 

The last day we’ll be open to customers is Monday 6 February, Waitangi Day. Then we’ll be closing the doors for approximately 12 months while the work is carried out. 

Until then, it’s business as usual and we have plenty for you to enjoy including the action-packed event series celebrating 26 years of Xtream, and the U-PLAY summer holiday events. Check out our website for the details.

And if you’re wondering what you’ll do without us in 2023, don’t worry, we’ve managed to secure some swimming space at Fulton Swim School for public swimming and hydro. H2O concession cards can be used here.

Swimming times

  • Tuesday to Thursday (incl.) 5.30 am to 10.30 am
  • Monday to Friday 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm (Tuesday and Thursday Hydro 7.00 pm – 8.00 pm, lane swimming 8.00 pm – 9.00 pm)
  • Saturday 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm
  • Sunday 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm

    We have also secured an additional swimming location so we can continue to offer lessons at a reduced capacity. We’ll contact our existing customers directly to provide the timetable and details on how to book.

    For those who are just keen for the occasional recreational dip, you could check out these other pools while we’re closed:

    Indoor 

  • Stokes Valley pool+fitness
  • Huia pool+fitness
  • Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre
  • Keith Spry Pool (Johnsonville)
  • Tawa Pool
  • Freyberg Pool and Fitness Centre (temporarily closed - will reopen late February 2023 once its upgrade is complete)
  • Porirua Arena Aquatics

    Outdoor (summer only)

  • Wainuiomata Summer Swimming Pool 
  • McKenzie Pool
  • Thorndon Pool
  • Eastbourne Summer Pool

There will be other activities happening throughout the year so follow us on Facebook or check our website to stay in the loop. We’ll also provide project updates as we move through the upgrade.


21  DECEMBER 2022

Thank you for your patience as we worked through the final details of the H2O Xtream upgrade closure scheduled to start Tuesday 7 February 2023.

We’re committed to delivering the upgrade to ensure H2O Xtream caters to the changing needs of our community, is more sustainable, and remains one of the top leisure attractions in the region.

But with the costs of materials and labour continuing to rise, the exchange rate fluctuating for the procurement of pool equipment, and a tight labour market, we’ve had to rethink how we deliver this project.

We have a budget of $51 million, a figure that was agreed through the Annual Plan consultation and based on the estimated cost of the design at that point in time.

However, the cost to deliver the project has continued to rise and we will not be able to deliver the entire upgrade within the approved budget.

The last thing we want is to delay the improvements we need to make to the facility. H2O Xtream is over 27 years old; it requires a lot of expensive, ongoing maintenance and as we've said before, doing nothing is not an option.

To ensure we can stay within budget while still delivering the critical elements of the project, Council has decided to change the scope of the upgrade.

Here’s an overview of what’s changing:

Included in upgrade

  • New junior leisure pool
  • Full hydroslide and tower rebuild/replacement
  • Existing pool hall upgrade works
  • Pool plant, services and equipment replacement
  • Electric heat pump (replacing current gas system)
  • Southern building improvements and extension (additional floor, offices, reception)

Not included in upgrade

  • New programme pool (including for hydrotherapy and learn to swim)
  • Café 

On Tuesday 7 February 2023, we will close H2O Xtream for approximately 12 months to complete the bulk of the upgrade. There will still be some work to do when we reopen, we’ll keep you up to date as we work through the project.

The great news is that we have secured an alternate swimming option at Fulton Swim School for customers to enjoy while H2O Xtream is closed and we’ll be in touch with customers in the new year to let you know the details.

While it is disappointing to have to exclude some features of the upgrade we want to stay within approved budgets as we are mindful of the increasing costs on everybody. The design allows us to ensure that additions can be made in the future.

Once again, thanks so much for your ongoing patience and we navigate these challenges. 


11 NOVEMBER 2022 

Construction: is tracking well overall but we've had to reprogramme the pipe installation in areas 3 and 2 (see map) due to the availability of materials. Our contractor, Maycroft, has set up in the carpark and planning for the trenching of new pipes and ducting is underway. You can expect to see that work happening soon.

H2O updated map.jpg

Alternate swimming locations: we’ve been looking at other swimming locations in Upper Hutt that H2O customers could use while the pool is closed for its 12 month upgrade. This includes options for the swim school and hydrorobics classes. We appreciate that many of our customers are looking ahead to 2023 and we had planned to provide an update at the end of October, but finalising the details has taken longer than expected. All going well, we’ll be able to share the information by the end of November.

Design: it’s going to be worth the wait though - H2O is going to be fantastic once complete! Check out these images of the new facility which will include a new leisure pool and hydrotherapy/learn to swim pool, new hydroslides, café and reception. We’re also replacing the plant equipment and gas boiler, so the running of H2O Xtream is much more sustainable.

Toddler pool

toddlers (002).png

Hydrotherapy/learn to swim pool

hydro pool (002).png

Junior pool

Junior pool (002).png

Cafe

 cafe still image (002).png


12 OCTOBER 2022

To mark the start of the H2O Xtream upgrade, we gathered together this morning with members of Council, Councillors, Maycroft Construction, Architecture HDT, Kura Moeahu (Te Ati Awa/ Taranaki Whānui), Dr Taku Parai (Ngāti Toa Rangatira), ngā kaumatua o Ōrongomai, and Mayor Guppy, for a blessing and to officially break ground.

H2O Blessing.jpg

We’re super excited to finally be getting underway on the upgrade which will see a new leisure pool and hydrotherapy/learn to swim pool, new hydroslides, café and reception. We’re also replacing the plant equipment and gas boiler, so the running of H2O Xtream is much more sustainable.


5 OCTOBER 2022

On Wednesday 12 September, work on the upgrade will begin.

The first step is to install new services which will run underneath the current car park. We expect this work to continue through until late December.

While the pool will remain open, there will be limited parking available and some disruption to H2O Xtream customers. 

H2O Xtream works.jpg

Please follow the instructions on display in the car park and be mindful of the construction activity when moving around outside the facilities.

Alternatively, you could park in the new carpark in Criterion Lane/Fergusson Drive, or in the carparks behind Council and the library.

Stage two: H2O Xtream will close for 12 months from February 2023 for the upgrade. We will provide alternate swimming options so our customers can stay active during this time.

What’s included in the project: a new leisure pool and hydrotherapy/learn to swim pool, new hydroslides, café and reception. We’re also replacing the plant equipment and gas boiler, so the running of H2O Xtream is much more sustainable.

To find out more, go to h2oxtream.com or have a chat with our Customer Services team in person or by phone on (04) 527 2113.


12 AUGUST 2022

In June, Council agreed to complete the $51 million upgrade of H2O Xtream in one stage starting this year. This follows extensive consultation with the Upper Hutt community. You can read the Annual Plan 2022—2023 here: upperhuttcity.com/annual-report

Work to prepare for the start of the project will get underway in October. The first step is to install new services which will run underneath the current car park. We expect this work to continue through until late December and while the pool still is open and there will be limited parking available, there may be some disruption to customers.  

Once that work is complete H2O Xtream will stay open for the summer holidays and look to close its doors in February when the major upgrade works will begin. You can read more about the upgrade plans on our website

We will keep you updated as we work through the separate phases of the project and appreciate your patience while we undertake this work. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Customer Service team at H2O Xtream.