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School swimming lessons halted

The state of Carterton’s only indoor pool has stopped some children from attending lessons. PHOTO/FILE


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The primary-aged kids at Ponatahi Christian School can usually expect 10 swimming lessons a year but the state of Carterton’s only indoor swimming pool has brought that to a stop.

An engineer’s report on October 10 revealed there was a significant risk that materials could fall from the ceiling.

The worst of the risk material was removed in late October but Carterton District Council (CDC) didn’t issue a media release alerting people to the “significant risk” until two days after it had been removed.

Ponatahi Christian School principal Peter Bertram said school policy ruled out taking the school group there for good reason.

“If an engineer has declared the environment to be unsafe then schools really have their hands tied,” Mr Bertram said.

“Even though it’s probably safe, probably is not good enough when you have got a class of kids.

“We are dealing with precious kids that belong to other parents, it’s the only way we proceed in these matters.”

The pool had to be declared safe before the school group would return, he said.

“As soon as that happens we will be back in there again.”

The primary-aged children at Ponatahi Christian School usually have 10 swimming lessons a year starting in Year 2.

This means by the time they get to Year 8 they could have had 70 lessons.

“By that time, they are pretty good.”

Mr Bertram said communication between himself and Russell Geange, who runs the swim academy at the pool, had been good.

Mr Geange does a fantastic job for the community, Mr Bertram said.

“We totally support the swimming club, they do a great job for the community and have done for many years.”

The indoor pool is owned and operated by the Carterton Swimming Club (CSC).

CSC president Dean Adams has previously said that improving the pool would be an ongoing process.

They were addressing the highest risks first, but he was happy with how they had handled things, he said.

CSC secretary Rik Anderson has previously said the community had rallied to get the pool in the first place.

The pool had been built to have a life of 20 years “and we are now at the 30-year mark,” he said.

“It’s come to the point where some big decisions need to be made about the viability of an indoor pool and given it’s the only facility in the South Wairarapa, the idea that it doesn’t exist at some time in the future is not good for anybody.”


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