New homework for advice on choosing a swimming pool

Castricum – For the status of the plans for a new swimming pool, we are going back to a city council meeting on December 9 last year. Now it is finally here: the ‘fast scan’ in variants of a bath with and without a sports hall, which has long been anticipated and which the new city council can consider.

By Hans Boot

The rapid scan was supposed to be ready in February – or preferably earlier – but that schedule was not met.

Councilor Ron de Haan: “I had already warned about that in early December. It is, of course, a difficult task to reach an agreement with an initiative group – which actually wants something else – on legal, tax and other laws that the city council needs to be able to make a choice between a new White Bridge, which we will build ourselves , a larger bath or an even larger bath with a sports hall that you have fitted outside of a market party. I would like to see if we now had a more or less final design and could start construction, but I am satisfied that, in the hectic pace of politics, we have largely succeeded in delivering a common product that the Council must interpret. In all variants, the municipality is up to the crossbar for risks and operating deficits. ”


The ‘quick scan’ has become an 18-page report with a substantial number of appendices, which the new council can put its teeth into. The report contains three variants that are compared with each other. The first is implementation in a requirements program, which De Haan submitted to the Council in March 2021, and which AGS Architects, as the winner of a European tender, has been willing to work on since September.

De Haan: ,, The plan is ready for implementation, meets the financial and spatial framework set by the council and has a full participation process with residents, sports associations, Jac. P. Thijsse Folk High School and leaders of the existing sports hall. This involves the construction of a sober and efficient swimming pool, whose annual deficit under the City Council’s mandate does not exceed 860,000 euros, with the possibility that a new sports hall can be built in ten years. The municipality is the lender and customer, and the De Witte Brug site will be released for housing. “

Swimming pool and sports hall

Option two involves a plan from the New Swimming Pool Initiative Group, led by the leader and a board member of the Witte Brug Foundation. Swimming pool and sports hall are built in one movement. Along with some other facilities, such as a recreation area in the swimming pool and commercial areas, which – according to the authors – ‘makes the use of the whole complex more favorable and offers the residents of Castricum something extra’. Sporthal De Bloemen BV, with which the municipality has a contract until 2035, will be bought from. The building will be demolished and the land will also be used for housing.

The third variant is comparable to the second with the difference that the implementation takes place under the management and commissioning of a fund originating from the above-mentioned initiative group. According to De Haan ‘this is a private initiative, but for which the financial risks and setbacks must be compensated by the municipality’.

Buy out

The report contains the necessary figures for costs and revenues. The councilor says about this: “It is already clear that the cheapest variant due to the time delay and rising construction costs will cost the municipality more than a million annually. The difference with the other variants lies in the construction of the sports hall now or in ten years. So the choice remains to buy out the entrepreneurs or to hand over the contract until 2035. So far, the possibility of leaving the current sports hall is more favorable. In the long run, it is more advantageous to include the sports hall now, because the investment costs in 2035 will probably be higher than they are now. The annual costs of a swimming pool with a sports hall together can also be more favorable with higher turnover, more trade and higher visitor numbers than if only one swimming pool is now built. ‘


Roel Beems, former party chairman of Lokaal Vitaal, has for years stuck his neck out to the new swimming pool. He says of the rapid scan: “The third variant, where the operation is completely outsourced, should be investigated further. It is actually the model used for the current sports hall and is also the basis in many other municipalities for the operation of sports centers, where several facilities are located under the same roof. It is often seen that there is money left over in the sports hall, while money has to be added to the swimming facilities, but due to synergy benefits and smart utilization, it is only possible with a limited annual subsidy. In Castricum, that image is distorted because the current structures (both bath and hall) are already dated and completely written off. So no more capital costs, but still high energy costs, and that’s not included in the quick scan. “

Beems adds: ,, We can only realize the housing task in Castricum on built-in sites. This can be done by reusing buildings that are older than fifty years and that are on municipal land. Housing can then be built for the various target groups in the vacant places. You will need to rebuild and that includes investment. These investments are often depreciated over decades, so the costs per. years are manageable. In addition, we also have a task in the field of energy conversion, where rebuilding is a better option than having high energy costs for decades in old buildings, where the heat flies out through the roof. “(Archive photo: Hans Boat)

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