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Pool fears stall swim lessons


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The safety of Carterton’s indoor pools is once again being questioned as one school has suspended its lessons for the second year running, citing major concerns.

Ponatahi Christian School in Carterton is one of many nearby schools which uses the indoor pool facilities on Pembroke St to provide swimming lessons to its students.

However, the school had to cancel all its swim lessons in 2017 after an engineer’s report revealed there was a significant risk of materials falling from the ceiling.

Urgent remedial work was carried out with the pools continuing to stay in use after the Carterton Swim Club president Dean Adams confirmed all risk had been removed through temporary bracing and tile removal.

Despite this, Ponatahi Christian School principal Peter Bertram said he was not yet satisfied all the necessary work had been undertaken to remove all risks.

The school carried out its own private inspection performed by an independent qualified engineer which led to further concerns around the stability of the structure.

“There’s not much work to be done and it could be done in as little as one or two days, but we want to make sure it’s safe for our students,” Bertram said.

“We don’t want anything falling on them.”

Adams said the club had completed significant repairs based on the engineer’s recommendations but it appeared that a small part of the roof at the northern end of the pool had since been identified as needing items removed.

The area in question was unable to be braced in the same way as the other sections of roof.

Adams said the swim club relied on volunteers and he was trying to arrange a schedule with them to complete the work required to get the pool to a standard where the families at Ponatahi Christian School would feel safe.

“Having the commitment we’ve had to repairs to date, we’re committed to remedying it for the good of the community – for the kids who get swim lessons there and the rest of the community who use it for health and well-being.”

An investigation into long-term redevelopment options for the indoor and adjacent outdoor aquatic facilities was completed last month.

The swim club is yet to present options to Carterton District Council, which owns the land and outdoor pools, as to whether it would be financially viable for the club to carry out the full necessary repairs.

The other option on the table would involve decommissioning existing indoor and outdoor facilities to build a new aquatic facility at a cost of $10.3m.

This would have the council sell the land the existing facilities are on, with the facility owned and managed by the council, and would require both funding and public consultation.

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