Pool closed over summer

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The Tamahere School Vela Pool will not open to the public this summer.

Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were the final issues that brought the matter to a head for the Tamahere School Board of Trustees, which was already wrestling with funding problems.

In October the board sought community feedback on pre-purchase, concession cards for the pool over summer. The aim was to see whether sufficient people were willing to buy concession cards to allow the school’s costs to break even if it opened the pool publicly.

In a statement the board thanked all those who replied to its survey, which also drew comment here.

“Thank you especially, to those who also committed to purchasing tickets to help us with running costs,” it said.

“There have been many Zoom meetings and much debate within the Board, along with number-crunching and creativity to come up with a way we could make this casual family swimming viable.

“Then COVID, once again, came along to change our plans,” the board said.

“There is currently a high level of uncertainty around what we are able to allow on a school site. At present, no extra adults are allowed on site.

“The ability to check vaccinations and keep people distanced within changing rooms, along with retaining staff who may get very few hours, has added to our challenges.

“Because of this the Board has decided not to open the pool complex for family swimming this summer. We have been exploring other funding options and will make further decisions next year when the Delta Variant has shown how life will look, and when we have all options available to us.”

The board said community use of the pool was important to it and it had managed to host Learn to Swim Lessons, through Hamilton Aquatics with a number of new systems in place to comply with the COVID regulations.

“We are also happy to hire the facility to organisations such as water polo,  aqua jogging and other groups who through their own staff can develop systems that comply with all Government COVID and Health & Safety regulations.”

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