Pool closure hits school finances hard

Hamilton primary school principals are pleading with the council to keep the Municipal Pools open.

Deanwell, Melville and Glenview primary school principals say the closure of the pools means they will have to transport students to Waterworld for their school swimming sports days and the cost to do so is one they can ill afford.

Deanwell Primary principal Pat Poland said each return trip to Waterworld cost the school about $500 in travel expenses.

The Municipal Pools have been plagued by problems, including numerous leaks. An investigation by Opus consultants will also look at ground stability and repair costs.

At Hamilton City Council's 10-year planning meeting in May, it was decided the pools would close for a year to allow testing to be completed and a decision made about its future.

A report to the council on the state of the Municipal Pools has been delayed.

The report was due to be presented to the council this month, but is now expected to be available in December.

It is understood council staff require additional information to give the mayor and councillors a full report to be able to consider all available options on the future of the pools.

The principals have considered other pools, but ruled them out, saying Waikato University's pool was too cold as it wasn't heated and other local school pools and Gallagher Aquatic Centre weren't appropriate as there was not viewing capacity for parents.

Mr Poland said his school used the Municipal Pools for school swimming sports. "It's very unfortunate and shortsighted. [The council] is meant to be promoting health and fitness and here they are closing facilities."

Melville Primary principal Dianne Pollard-Williams said Waterworld was the only option for her school.

"But transportation is an issue, particularly those of us in lower decile. It's a big financial burden for our parents."

She said the only option was to fundraise. "That's quite a few sausage sizzles."

Mrs Pollard-Williams said the council may have thought the closure of the Municipal Pools through from the perspective of the nearby schools that used it, such as Sacred Heart, but hadn't considered those schools further away. "Hamilton's south west is a forgotten area by our city fathers."

- Hamilton News

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