Waiheke Local Board is about to start a formal feasibility study and business case to site a community pool on Te Huruhi Primary School land.
The move to investigate the option of locating a pool on school land follows support from the Te Huruhi and Waiheke High School boards of trustees and the Ministry of Education. Work on the feasibility study is expected to take a number of months.
Championing the development
The Waiheke community has long sought a community pool and this term, Waiheke Local Board has been championing the idea of developing one on Te Huruhi School land to take advantage of the school’s redevelopment.
Late last year, at the request of the local board, Auckland Council officers engaged school redevelopment architects Ignite to undertake a desk-top bulk and location assessment to determine if a pool could be located either on Te Huruhi school land or potentially straddling the boundary between the two schools.
The results, delivered to the local board just after Christmas showed the idea was feasible although it would need reconfiguration of the proposed school sports fields, significant earthworks and resource consent.
The pool plan
The preferred option shows a site footprint of 50m x 25m to accommodate a 25m x 12m main pool, 8m x 12m learner’s pool, changing rooms, plant reception and office at the northern end of the Te Huruhi boundary.
The pool could be either indoor or outdoor depending on what the feasibility study and business case shows. In addition, a 75m x 45m junior rugby field and a 90m x 50m hockey turf would be developed to the south and adjoining the proposed new school.
The pool would need to be community owned and operated on land leased from the Ministry of Education because neither school sees itself running or owning a pool and Auckland Council’s policies do not support a pool on Waiheke.
School support for the proposal is based on it being separate to and not adversely impacting their redevelopment plans, all costs being borne by third parties.
The local board has funding to support further investigation but no specific budget to develop or operate a pool at this stage. It is anticipated that once the feasibility and business case is completed and costs are more clearly understood, funding support options can be more easily investigated.
Taking the investigation to the next stage
Waiheke Local Board Chair Paul Walden and deputy chair Cath Handley say it’s great to have support in principle from local schools to formally investigate a community pool on school grounds.
“This is an ideal site for a pool and the feasibility study will confirm whether the idea stacks up or not. The local board recognises funding for pool development remains a big issue but is hopeful that financial support can be found once a detailed, costed proposal is identified.”
Te Huruhi Principal Adam Cels says the school board is supporting taking the investigation to the next stage because it recognises the value a community pool would have for both school students and the wider community.