SINGAPORE - The site of the landmark Yan Kit Swimming Complex will be redeveloped into a community sports facility, said Tanjong Pagar MP Indranee Rajah on Friday (Jan 6).
But the swimming pool will not make a return as the cost of developing and maintaining it was deemed to be too high.
The former swimming complex, the second public pool to open in Singapore, is located near Cantonment Road and Pinnacle@Duxton.
The old pool was popular in the 1950s and 1960s but closed in 2001 after fewer and fewer people swam there.
The new sports facility, to be completed by 2019, will have a number of features including the following:
- 3-in-1 Multi-Purpose Court - this will be for basketball, netball and volleyball;
- Play Gym - a playground for children;
- Nature's Gym and Healing Garden - an outdoor area with fitness equipment specifically for seniors, as well as a garden with plants for wellness and healing;
- Free Play Zone - an area for free play and activities for all ages;
- Fit & Fab Zone" - a functional fitness corner and jogging path for adults;
- The Lawns - a green space for lawn bowls or croquet, located in the "bowl" of the original semi-circular building entrance to the site;
- An event space
Part of it will be ready for use by the middle of this year, Ms Indranee said in a Facebook post.
She said that many will be disappointed that there will not be a pool, despite her appeal to Sport Singapore (SportSG) and a survey which showed support for a pool.
Residents had tried to bring back the pool with a petition and online campaign seven years ago. A poll in 2013 also found the majority of residents were in favour of a pool.
"SportSG said that they considered the appeal very seriously," she wrote.
However, the site is only leased to SportSG till 2030, and the agency found that the cost of developing and maintaining a pool was not "feasible" for the 12-year period. After 2030, the land is reserved for other uses.
It would incur a depreciation cost of $750,000 per year, she said.
"It wouldn't be a prudent use of public funds given the short time frame for use," she said, adding that the current economic climate makes the need for fiscal prudence even more important.
"A pool would've been nice. However, the proposed facilities will still be very helpful in meeting other needs of residents in the area," she added.