Partial demolition option for centre

By Peter de Graaf

1 comment
The Far North Mayor John Carter does not support closing Kawakawa's pool.
The Far North Mayor John Carter does not support closing Kawakawa's pool.

Bay of Islands College is considering demolishing part of its recreation centre because of high maintenance costs and an expected multi-million-dollar leaky building repair bill.

The Kawakawa Recreation Centre on the college groundsincludes a pool, aerobics room, weights room, squash court, and basketball gym. The pool and gym were built in the 1970s while the pool was covered and the connecting community space was added in the 1990s.

The complex has been maintained by the college since the community trust which originally built and managed it was wound up in 2004. It is not owned by the Ministry of Education so maintenance costs fall on the school's Board of Trustees.The Far North District Council grants $15,000 a year to the complex and about $160,000 towards the costs of running the pool. That still leaves a shortfall the school has to make up.

According to a report to a Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board meeting, the building has serious maintenance problems and is a leaky building which could costs millions to repair. The ministry has offered to repair or replace the basketball gym and pay for its future maintenance.

But it would do so only if the central part of the complex - the aerobics room, weights room and squash court, but not the pool - is demolished. The board of trustees is considering the proposal.

Meanwhile, a report commissioned last year by Sport NZ and the council recommended closing Kawakawa's pool and building a new facility in Kerikeri instead, - a move not supported by the current mayor and councillors.

The council hopes a community trust can be re-established to manage the pool.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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