Pools' management in focus

By Lawrence Gullery

A central management group could be set up to manage Hastings' four major swimming pools which are up for million-dollar makeovers during the next three financial years.

Opus International consultants and Global Leisure Group have just finished a major review for the Hastings District Council, on the way its pools are managed and the services they provided to the community.

One of the results is a "one entity" management group to replace the three trusts which look after the Clive War Memorial Pool, Waterworld in Flaxmere, Frimley Aquatic Centre in Hastings and the Havelock North Village Pool.

It had been suggested because the council wanted to move its pool management into a "network approach".

Council staff, however, do not believe a move to a single entity model would be in the best interest of the pool trusts or the community, but also acknowledge the current management system can't remain.

The council's manager of community facilities and programmes, Tanya Winter, is instead floating the idea of an "overarching governance group" as an interim measure to retain the trusts and encourage a more co-ordinated effort with the council on managing the pools.

Ms Winter will ask the council to approve the idea when it meets on Thursday to review the reports on its aquatic facilities and services.

The council would also be asked to consider increasing the budget for the three-year upgrade project for the pools from $5.75 million to $8 million, to account for the cost of installing Myrtha liners (soft vinyl) which would extend the life of the pools. The upgrades were due to start in July.

In a separate item, the council would decide on whether to include $550,000 in its long-term plan to repair the roof at the Waterworld pool.

Cracks in the roof appeared in 2011 forcing its temporary closure. A report by consultants LHT Design concluded the cracks were the result of earthquakes over many years. The building was stable but there was potential risk to the structural integrity of the building "in significant seismic or wind events".

- Hawkes Bay Today

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