Schools shun CBay pools
Should schools be able to use CBay for free?
Some South Canterbury schools are not using the new CBay aquatic centre for their swimming sports and have booked the council's other pools instead.
But council recreation facilities manager Craig Motley believes there are sufficient options available at CBay to meet the schools' needs.
Highfield School always used Century Pool for its swimming sports but has booked the Pleasant Point Pool this year. The school was offered a two-week window in which to hold its event at CBay which clashed with school camp, sports co-ordinator Robyn Cooper said.
As the school included children as young as seven in its swimming sports, shallow water was needed.
The 50m outdoor pool was too wide and too deep at 1.1 metres. Mrs Cooper said the alternative of hiring both the 25m pool and the shallower programme pool was too expensive.
Hiring the two pools would have cost the school three times as much as Century Pool.
Barton Rural held a school-wide swimming sports for the first time this year, hiring the Geraldine Pool for three hours yesterday.
They, too, would have needed to hire two pools at CBay.
Principal Anna Miller was quoted $250 an hour for the 25m pool alone, which was too expensive for the small school.
Hiring the whole Geraldine complex cost the school $390 for three hours. Mrs Miller said the cost of getting the children to Geraldine was not a factor as parents supplied the transport for what became a whole-day event, combining the sports and a picnic.
South Canterbury Primary Schools sports co-ordinator Vicki Elliotte knew of other schools opting not to use CBay, although she has booked the facility for the region-wide swimming sports in April.
More schools have booked CBay for their swimming sports this term than used Century Pool last year, Mr Motley said, adding it would cost some schools less to use CBay than a country pool.
Most schools book six lanes of the 25m pool, configured to 1.4m to 1.5m deep. That costs $111 an hour.
While it was difficult to hire the leisure pool at the same time as the 25m pool, Mr Motley said the majority of schools hired the learn to swim area in the leisure pool, which ranges in depth from 0.6m to 0.9m and costs $30 an hour.
He said it would have cost Barton Rural $141 an hour for six lanes of the 25m pool as well as the leisure pool learn to swim area.
"Some schools were cautious about depths initially, but once they came in and visited CBay and checked for themselves they have been more than happy."
- The Timaru Herald