Learn-to-swim provider sought for new pool

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Wanaka’s new pool is nearing completion, and expressions of interest are being sought for provision of learn-to-swim services at the facility.

Construction of the new pool was progressing well, with a handover to the council anticipated at the end of May, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) general manager community services, Thunes Cloete, said.

“Then there will be a few weeks that we would be testing and implementing our systems and processes and just making sure that everything is working well,” he said.

The facility was expected to be open to the public around the end of June, but the opening date would be determined by the Wanaka Community board, he said.

Some cost overruns had been incurred Mr Cloete said.

“We went to council last month and asked them to approve an overrun, but that’s expected in a facility as big as this,” Mr Cloete said.

QLDC sport and recreation manager, Simon Battrick, said a project update was being prepared for the Wanaka Community Board which would include more detail around the budget and the opening date of the new pool, and further information would be available mid-April.

The new facility would be a big improvement on the existing pool, Mr Cloete said.

“What we’ve got now is one pool – a one-lane pool.

“With the new facility, you will have a 25m eight-lane pool [and] there will be a learn-to-swim pool. As well, a hot tub will be available,” Mr Cloete said.

As the new pool neared completion, the council was seeking interest in providing swimming instruction, Mr Cloete said.

“What we are looking for is a base provider for a learn-to-swim product for the community.”

An independent panel would assess the applicants and report to the council in May, Mr Cloete said.

A cost effective swim school with an operator who would be there for the long term, was the desired outcome.

“We have had a discussion with the existing swim schools that are now operating, and we’ve asked them to put an expression of interest in.”