Opening date for pool confirmed

By John Maslin

Wanganui East pool will finally open for summer on Saturday, January 5.

Sport Wanganui took over the day-to-day management of the pool this month after the trust running the pool was found to have breached conditions of its contract around the pool's operation.

Wanganui East Pool Trust had a contract with the Wanganui District Council to operate the complex but a sticking point was having adequate qualified lifeguards on duty at all times the pool was operating.

Things came to a head early this month when the council made a spot check at the pool and found it did not have enough qualified staff on duty, even though it had opened the pool to a school group.

Almost immediately, an agreement was hammered out between council and the trust which saw Sport Wanganui assuming control. However, the trust will remain as part of a three-way management arrangement for the pool.

Councillor Ray Stevens, chair of Wanganui District Council's property and infrastructure committee said thanks were due to both council staff and Sport Wanganui for the work they did to ensure the pool had been able to operate.

Mr Stevens said he was aware people were keen to see the pool open as soon as possible, but a staged opening was the correct method.

"There will be many opportunities for swimming from January 5 and there will be a full contingent of qualified lifeguards on board," he said.

John Rhodes, chairman of the pool trust said he was pleased with how the new three-way arrangement was working out and looking forward to continuing the trust's role in support of the facility.

"We're also pleased to confirm that our fundraising efforts will enable free swimming for primary and intermediate aged children during public swimming hours of operation for this season," Mr Rhodes said.

"The details of this programme are being worked through with Sport Wanganui and will be announced prior to the opening of the pool to the public," he said.

The trust had raised $12,000 to cover those costs.

The pool has been able to meet all pre-existing group bookings and will continue to do so over the holiday period.

Sport Wanganui pools manager Adam Gosney said all parties had created a positive working relationship to ensure the Wanganui community had access to an outdoor aquatic facility this summer.

From January 5 the pool will be open to the public daily from 10am-6pm Monday to Thursday, and 10am-5pm Friday to Sunday. On public holidays the pool will open to the public at midday and close at 5pm.

To make a group booking, contact the Splash Centre, ph 349 0113 or Wanganui East Pool, ph 343 6650.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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