Free entry as pool opens after upgrade

By Harrison Christian

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Lifeguard and instructor Meghann Corbett (left) with Alice Heather, group manager community facilities and programmes, Hastings District Council, at Clive War Memorial Pool. Photo/Duncan Brown
Lifeguard and instructor Meghann Corbett (left) with Alice Heather, group manager community facilities and programmes, Hastings District Council, at Clive War Memorial Pool. Photo/Duncan Brown

The Clive War Memorial Swimming Pool will reopen after a seven-month closure and a $2.1 million upgrade.

Council group manager community programmes and facilities Alice Heather said the official reopening ceremony would be held on Sunday at 9.45am. There would be free entry to the pool from 10am until 3.30pm on Sunday, she said.

A local Kaumatua would bless the pool and Hastings councillor Rod Heaps would conduct the official opening. Mrs Heather urged the public to "come on down, especially if you've got kids".

Staff were putting the finishing touches on the Farndon Rd pool this week, including installing an espresso machine and setting the pool water to the correct temperature.

Mrs Heather envisaged the revamped pool as a "leisure destination" where parents could come to have a coffee or even work out in a mini gym while their children swam.

"We're taking a whole different approach," Mrs Heather said. "We're going for as much utilisation of the pool as we can."

The pool would be open 15 hours a week longer than it was when closed in September last year for the upgrade, Mrs Heather said. The facility would be open seven days a week rather than five, and there would always be at least two lanes in the pool available for lane or recreational swimming. It is the first time the pool had been open to the public on weekends and would be available for public hire on Fridays and Saturdays.

A new filtration system would improve the water quality in the pool and allow the learner and main pools to be filtered and heated independently. Work had been done to improve the efficiency of the heating and air handling system, making for a more pleasant atmosphere inside the facility, Mrs Heather said. The roof of the building had been replaced, as well as some sections of the external walls and the changing rooms had been upgraded.

Mrs Heather said charges to use the pool would not change.

"We've tried to price it so it's accessible."

When asked if the pool would pay for itself, Mrs Heather said "that's the plan".

"The model I've put together will reduce the level of requirement from the ratepayer. This [upgrade] is about wider community access and enjoyment. The community will get more for their money."

The council took over governance of the pool from the Clive War Memorial Swimming Pool Trust last year because the trust was finding the pool too "financially challenging" to operate, the council said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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