Waiheke Pool Society reveals plans

Waiheke Pool Society chairperson Delyth Morgan-Coghlan and treasurer Janet Vincent.
ROSE DAVIS/STUFF

Waiheke Pool Society chairperson Delyth Morgan-Coghlan and treasurer Janet Vincent.

Plans for a multi-million dollar indoor pool at Onetangi Sports Park have been revealed by Waiheke Pool Society.

About 35 people attended a presentation on August 31, where society chairperson Delyth Morgan-Coghlan said the indoor pool would cost upwards of $3.48 million.

The society released a report stating the pool complex would be likely to cost $5.5 million.

Waiheke Local Board can borrow $1 million to build a community pool and the society has $126,000 from fundraising over the past 25 years and from recent donations.

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"We estimate that a further $4,374,000 is required to achieve pool construction," the society's report stated.

Grants, donations and community fundraising would be needed. 

The cost for running an indoor pool complex would be about $1 million a year, but the society expects revenue would almost cover this cost.

The society estimates that Auckland Council would provide $100,000 a year, 25,000 people would use the pool at a cost of $5 a visit, and donations and swimming lessons would be among other sources of income.

The society's research suggests the best site for a pool is on council land that is used by Waiheke Adult Riding Club.

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The site between Onetangi Lawn Cemetery and Waiheke Museum is preferred because it is central, visible, on bus routes, and close to other sports facilities.

The society had also considered using Ministry of Education land beside Waiheke Recreation Centre.

However, housing for teachers is now planned there, local board member Bob Upchurch said.

The complex would include a 25 metre long pool with 5 lanes, a learners' pool, a spa, sauna, gym, treatment room, dry activity area, and cafe.

The society's report raised concerns about the risk of drowning in an island community without a pool.

In 2015, more than 75 per cent of Waiheke children could not meet the minimum survival standard of swimming 200 metres.

The only public pool on the island, at Te Huruhi Primary School, has been closed since April 2015.

Cracks in the outdoor pool were unable to be repaired last summer.

Te Huruhi principal Adams Cels said the repairs have yet to be completed, so the opening date of the pool will depend on the weather being dry enough for the work to go ahead.

The local board from 2013 to 2016 put forward plans for two outdoor, heated pools, that would cost about $1.2 million to build and $100,000  a year to run.

However, Morgan-Coghlan said the pool needs to be indoors and open all year to be financially viable and accessible for all users.

The local board is now exploring the possibility of developing a pool between Waiheke High School and Te Huruhi Primary School, with access from Donald Bruce Road. 

Board member Cath Handley said a commercial operator is also investigating the possibility of building a pool on Waiheke.

Handley and Upchurch spoke at the meeting about the need to investigate the school site before plans for the redevelopment of both schools are finalised.

Handley said the more central Ministry of Education land would be better for a pool and Upchurch noted it would be expensive to take hundreds of children by bus for swimming lessons at Onetangi Sports Park.

Both Handley and Upchurch said they were open to considering an indoor pool.

 - Stuff

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