BNN-VARA’s waste meter makes an episode about Amersfoort’s swimming pool Amerena

“The municipality of Amersfoort invested millions of euros in a swimming pool complex where ordinary residents can hardly go”, can be heard in the video of the TV program Verspillingsmeter. But what about the municipality?

BNN-VARA’s Waste Meter shines a light on municipal projects that, according to the programme, have cost a lot of money and yield little for the ‘ordinary people’. On Tuesday, January 10, the program published an episode about the Amersfoort swimming pool Amerena. In it, councilor Hugo Kruyt of opposition party SP talks about the problems of Amerena: “The swimming pool initially cost 26 million euros.” According to the program, there are still quite a few costs.

34 million euros

According to the program, the municipality of Amersfoort will invest 12.8 million euros in the swimming pool over the next four years. This brings the Waste Meter to 34 million euros. “A lot of money goes into the pool and little comes out,” Hugo continues. “It is hardly accessible for many residents of the city.”

Response from the municipality

The municipality of Amersfoort does not agree with the video of the Waste Meter. Brugt Groenevelt, spokesperson for the municipality, writes in response: “Every Amersfoorter who sports in Amerena, and there are a lot of them, will feel a bit uncomfortable watching this video. The sports complex is fully programmed every day with many sports activities, championships, competitions, training sessions, lessons, recreational offerings and so on. It is a success in that regard.”

Read more under the image >

Photo: Something Horneman

In the video

The program continues: “Recreational swimming is only possible for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. A number of baths turned out to be 1.5 centimeters too short for the competitions.” The municipality replies: “The desire for more free swimming is known and is ultimately precisely the result of an overcrowded programming. This wish is justified, but it is nonsense to call the entire sports complex a waste. It is factually incorrect that the bath would be a few centimeters too short. In the beginning, a sliding panel did not click back far enough, this was immediately repaired and the bath meets all the requirements.”

According to the program, there was also an incident with a swimming team that became unwell during training. That would be because the air ventilation was not functioning properly at that time. “I think this was fixed more than two years ago,” says Brugt.

More criticism

The program lists a number of criticisms. The pool slide would be too fast and too dangerous. “People who went off all got bruises.” According to the program, the material with which the pool is made cannot withstand cleaning agents. “There is an aggressive pool atmosphere. This makes cleaning costs more expensive. While you could have known in advance that the materials would be deposited in the swimming pool.”

Aggressive atmosphere

Brugt says about the atmosphere: “These kinds of problems are part of becoming familiar with the building. There is only one Amerena, unfortunately you can’t predict everything. It is a unique complex, with a combination of all kinds of facilities. That takes getting used to and adapting.”

Read more under the image >

Photo: Something Horneman

Energy efficient

Finally, Burgt writes about the alleged 12.8 million that the program lists. That amount would be about the operating fee, or the costs to keep the building running. “Employees are paid from this, the building is cleaned, maintenance is carried out and the energy bill is paid. It is one of the most energy-efficient swimming pools in the Netherlands. In 2019, almost 400,000 visitors visited the swimming pool. There are also visitors to the sports hall, visitors to the physiotherapist, spectators at swimming lessons, competitions and events.”

Watch the episode about Amerena from De Verspillingsmeter here.

We found a lot more for you…

  • Back in time with Google Streetview: this is what Amersfoort looked like in 2009

    A lot can happen in ten years. How much? We can see that very well thanks to Google Streetview! We visited…

  • Swimming in Amersfoort: you can take a refreshing dip in these swimming pools

  • Getting your swimming certificate A at the age of 66, Mart Drogt from Amersfoort did it!

Leave a Comment