Pool attendance boosted by Wanaka swimmers

Mathew Begg.
Mathew Begg.
User numbers are up, income has increased, and swimming lessons are full at the Cromwell Swim Centre.

The Central Otago District Council (CODC) facility is experiencing about 15-20 extra users per day as a result of the closure of the Wanaka Community Pool two weeks ago.

Council parks and recreation manager Mathew Begg said between last Friday and Tuesday there had been about 95-100 additional pool users from Wanaka, compared with normal.

''It has definitely been a boost in terms of extra users through the door - extra income for the pool that we would not have had at this time of year, and just seeing the facility is great as well.''

Council swim school co-ordinator Amy Graham said the school had been catering for extra enrolments in swimming lessons.

The lessons, held four days a week, had filled up with participants from Wanaka, she said.

Discounted rates were being offered for casual swimmers from Wanaka, and those who had memberships or concessions to the Queenstown Lakes District Council-operated pool in Wanaka could swim for free.

QLDC was reimbursing the CODC the cost of pool use by residents from the Wanaka area, Mr Begg said.

Before Wanaka residents began using the pool, there was capacity to accommodate more people at the Cromwell pool, he said.

''It's just about making sure we try to manage the various users to make sure everyone is getting a good experience.''

The pool would be able to continue to accommodate Wanaka swimmers until their pool was repaired, Mr Begg said.

The Wanaka Community Pool was closed after a structural assessment of the building found it was at only 20% of the required earthquake safety standard.

It had been engineered by Southland design engineer Tony Major who was recently expelled from the Institution of Professional Engineers for incompetence, after Stadium Southland, which he engineered, collapsed in a heavy snowstorm in 2010.

Last week, the QLDC agreed to spend about $115,000 on a temporary solution to strengthen the building.

The pool was expected to re-open in about two months.

leith.huffadine@odt.co.nz

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