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Bonn swimming pools: Hardtbergbad to become a family pool with restaurant

Bonn swimming pools : Hardtbergbad to become a family pool with restaurant

The city of Bonn is planning to turn the Hardtbergbad into a swimming pool for families. Renovation and extension works are due to start in 2021 at a cost of around 30 million euros.

After years of discussions, the Hardtberg pool will turn out to be much nicer than some people had expected. It is to be developed into a family pool and will be open all year round. The proposal to tackle the matter on a larger scale comes from the city administration in the “Framework Planning for the Reorganisation of the Bonn Public Pools” which included civic participation (as reported by GA). Scenarios have been developed based on the principle that every city district should have a pool.

The city-wide project has now been launched following the city council’s majority decision. The council had already decided on measures for the Hardtbergbad in 2019: The existing indoor swimming pool is to be renovated and an additional training pool will be built. The third point is the refurbishment of the open-air swimming pool. This first draft already contained further proposals, but they did not want to pre-empt the results of the civic participation procedure. The citizen consultants have expressed their support for the extended plans: A family area with a children's pool and pool for courses, a restaurant, as well as a year-round slide are to be built at the Hardtberg pool - all fully accessible. The existing water pool in the hall is to be extended from a good 400 to 650 square metres. Only the suggestion for an indoor bouldering wall was dropped. “In Hardtberg we have made the furthest progress with the plans”, explains Stefan Günther, head of the sports and swimming pool department. The city administration already had an audit commission through the council decision in 2019. A cost estimate for the modernisation of the indoor and outdoor pools has been prepared and is said to be around 30 million euros in total. According to Günther, about 21.9 million euros are available in the budget for the renovation work that has already been decided upon.

The concept for the swimming pools is based on four objectives: they should be modern, offer added value for all user groups (clubs, schools, recreational swimmers) - with improved operating efficiency, for example through energy savings, and taking environmental objectives into account. Günther assumes that “considerable savings in energy consumption can be achieved in the refurbished Hardtbergbad. Increased attractiveness, larger pool areas and longer opening hours should encourage more visitors to visit. While the Hardtberg pool currently welcomes almost 80,000 guests a year, the number could rise to more than 130,000 after the renovations and expansion. The current number of visitors is divided between 24,000 pupils, almost 21,000 club swimmers and a good 35,000 recreational swimmers.

The head of the sports and bathing department makes it clear that “the existing water areas must be preserved”, in order to ensure that all needs are met. The reorganisation of the city swimming pools therefore means neither a reduction nor increase. The integration of the schools' teaching pools into the public pools is however a relocation. This means that the teaching pools will be closed and used differently. The administration wants to ensure school and club swimming can continue during the renovation of the Hardtberg pool. Ludwig-Richter- and Derletalschule are possible transitional solutions. However, the training pool at the Derletalschule must be repaired as quickly as possible so that it can be available when the Hardtberg pool is closed. These repairs will cost 1.35 million.

In the preliminary time schedule, the rehabilitation concept for the Hardtbergbad is to be developed quickly so that work can begin in 2021. Completion is scheduled for 2023. Günther explains that the bouldering wall is not being built because of the climbing adventure park adjacent to the pool. “It will remain part of the complex.” A contract has been signed with the operator up to the start of the renovations. The number of visitors has stagnated in recent years. “The forced break should be used to revise the concept for the climbing park, which has been there for ten years, and to develop new routes," said Günther.

(Original text: Jutta Specht, Translation: Caroline Kusch)