Tepid Baths
The Tepid Baths are historical indoor public pools in Auckland, New Zealand. Built in 1914 on the previous site of a small drydock, it quickly met great public approval, with 30,000 visitors in the first two months. The Tepid Baths was originally leased from the Auckland Harbour Board, and contains two separate pools, a "male" (25 m, 6 lanes) and "female" (18 m, 4 lane). The "male" pool was the largest pool in New Zealand at that time. The pools were heated via hot water from the nearby tramways power plant, and the system was considered an engineering masterpiece of the time. The pools were not only extensively used for both recreational and competitive swimming, but also for some other uses - in one event, a pentecostal minister baptised a hundred new faithful in the pools (in about 1931). Two sports champions were Custodians at the Tepid Baths, swimmer Malcolm Champion (who frequently swam across the harbour to his North Shore home) and runner Billy Savidan. In 1974, the salt water pools (previously fed from the Waitemata Harbour) were transformed into fresh water pools, primarily for maintenance reasons. The facility was refurbished in 1986 and again after the YMCA received the management lease in 1997 from Auckland City Council. Renovations include new sauna and steam room, and a gym on the upper level (YMCA club members only). Nowadays, a large part of the Tepid Baths' customers are people working in the Auckland CBD who swim here before or after work. In November 2009 it was announced that the Tepid Baths are to close for a period of up to four years for a $12 million restoration project to address structural issues excacerbated by the saltwater effects on the structure. It is hoped the pool will be open again for its 100th anniversary in 2014. The baths are now to close on 18 April 2010, while the Y-Fitness Centre has already moved to new purpose-built facilities at the ANZ Centre in Albert Street.