Having to get in the car and drive off site to aqua-aerobics sessions or for a leisurely swim will be a thing of the past for Kerikeri residents of Metlifecare’s Oakridge Villas in July, when their new heated swimming pool is unveiled.
The heated pool is a much-anticipated part of the broader new community centre complex – the Pavilion.
The Pavilion will encompass the swimming pool, spa pool, a bar area, a wide-screen TV movie area, reading lounge and even a wellness room, which visiting health professionals will utilise.
“We’re hoping to have podiatrists, manicures and pedicures, hairdressers, and perhaps even a local doctor will do a half day visit,” says Oakridge Villas’ Assistant Village Manager, Louise Gadsby. “There’s great demand for an extended Community Centre here and a heated swimming pool. We want to create a pleasant environment and give our residents access to services without the need to travel.”
Oakridge Villas’ residents are mobile and independent, some still work part-time and the village is well placed for residents to stroll into town. However, the new Pavilion will give residents a place to socialise together and spend time with their guests within the village. “At the moment when we have get togethers – and they’re a very social group – residents are a little crammed into the small community area. In the new Pavilion we’ll have the space for book clubs, film clubs, not to mention the luxury of having a hot spa on a cool winters eve!” says Louise.
Chairperson of Oakridge Villas’ Residents Association, Charlie Devine, moved into the village with his wife Pauline in 2013. With children in Auckland and Whangarei, they tossed up moving from Kerikeri, their much loved home for 25 years, but once they visited Oakridge Villas and saw the future proposal for the Pavilion they were hooked. “As soon as we saw the plans, we knew we’d found a place to stay in Kerikeri. We knew this would be worth the wait.”
With building work on the Pavilion near completion, that wait is almost over. Residents are ready to test the swimming pool at the beginning of July, just in time for winter.
Mr Devine says, “All of us are rapt. We can’t wait to get in.”