After Teddy Stadium and the Jerusalem Arena – the municipality has finally begun to promote the construction of the first Olympic swimming pool in Jerusalem. Two main options are currently being examined: expansion of the main sports compound of Jerusalem in Malcha, or adjacent to the Givat Ram stadium.
The huge national project of establishing an Olympic swimming pool in the capital has been stuck for years. This week, Mayor Moshe Leon convened a special meeting with the participation of City Treasurer Eli Zituk, CEO Itzik Larry, Deputy Mayor and Sports Portfolio Holder Elisha Peleg, as well as the Director-General of the Jerusalem Development Authority Eyal Chaimovsky and representatives of the Ariel Company. Objective: To see how to promote an enterprise of this magnitude. According to preliminary estimates, the project will cost more than NIS 300 million, including a swimming pool suitable for diving and a heating pool, as is customary in modern swimming facilities.
The first option is to build the pool in the area near the Arena, on an open lot designed for a bus parking lot. If this alternative is accepted, it is possible that the construction will begin this year, since there is already a city plan approved for the construction of a swimming pool. Another advantage is that nearby is supposed to be the station of the new line of light rail that is supposed to be paved in the coming years.
The alternative of the Cosell Center near the Givat Ram stadium is more complex, but it might save about NIS 50 million, since there is already a swimming pool there. For this purpose, the current university pool will become a heating pool and the conditions will be upgraded to serve as Olympic swimming competitions. However, Givat Ram will have to wait another two years at least before a ribbing cutting ceremony, after receiving all the necessary approvals. The campus will also be in the possession of the university, so that the general public’s participation in activities in the area will be more limited.
As of now, until the mayor decides on the matter, it was decided to freeze the continuation of the Malcha option.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)