A portable ''pop-up pool'' like the one pictured is being
considered as a short- to medium-term option for a
learners' pool in Wanaka. Photo supplied.
A portable pool costing a fraction of the price of a
permanent one is being considered as an interim solution for a
learn-to-swim facility in Wanaka, and could be operating within
the next few months.
''It's a high priority and we won't be dragging the chain,''
Lakes Leisure chief executive Ruth Stokes told the Wanaka
Community Board meeting yesterday.
She said the cost-saving benefits of installing a portable
learners' pool at the existing Wanaka Community Pool were
significant. A permanent pool would cost $750,000 or more,
while a temporary structure would be about $55,000.
Several pool options were being considered, but the most
temporary or portable model was available through Pools in
Schoolz - an initiative run by a charitable trust which aims
to address the decline in primary school swimming pools by
providing free covered, portable pools which are rotated
between four schools each year.
Because the pool would be based at Wanaka's existing
community pool facility for the duration of its three- to
five-year lifespan, the council would buy the infrastructure
from Pools in Schoolz, Mrs Stokes told the Otago Daily Times.
The portable pools looked essentially like a ''pop-up pool in
a clear shed'', but the technology involved had improved so
they could be used year-round.
Lakes Leisure was weighing up whether there would be
sufficient year-round demand for the pool in Wanaka, or
whether it would be decommissioned during the winter months.
It was possible ''third-party supporters'' would be involved,
meaning the facility would not be entirely council-funded.
A $11.5 million aquatic centre project was removed from the
Queenstown Lakes District Council's 10-year plan in June
2009. An aquatic centre is still in the footprint for the
planned Wanaka Sports Facility at the Three Parks
subdivision, but has not been budgeted for and will not be
included in the stadium's development. When the aquatic
centre plans were deferred, the council instead considered
building a learners' pool at the community pool in 2010-11,
but that did not eventuate and the proposal was revisited
early last year.
There is $400,000 budgeted in the council's long-term plan
for a learn-to-swim facility in Wanaka.