Ranfurly residents will enjoy more time in the pool this summer after the Ranfurly Pool’s hours were extended for the 2023-24 season.
The Maniototo Community Board approved the changes at last week’s meeting, expanding the hours to eliminate the split-shift model the pool now operates under.
Parks and recreation manager Gordon Bailey, speaking via video link, said the current hours negatively affected customer numbers at the pool.
‘‘That split shift has put people off swimming.’’
It had also deterred potential staff and ‘‘wasn’t really conducive to good employment recruitment’’.
Instead, his report proposed a more consistent schedule for staff and patrons, which was accepted by the board.
The changes will mean an estimated overspend of $5000 in staffing costs but these may be offset if the new hours result in increased use.
Mr Bailey said the pool had staff ready to work at the pool when it was expected to open in early December.He did note most of the staff were tertiary students, who would leave the area in late summer.
‘‘We may have an issue with staffing from early February onwards.’’
If that was the case, he would return to the board on the matter, Mr Bailey said. Board member Rebecca McAuley supported the changes.
‘‘It excites me,’’ she said. ‘‘I think you’ll find there’ll be an increase in people using it — that’s a positive for our community.’’
A Central Otago District Council spokeswoman later confirmed the Maniototo Library would also trial new hours.
Beginning today, the library will be open for an additional hour between 6pm and 7pm on Thursdays.
The Ranfurly Pool’s new hours are: Monday to Friday, 7am-6pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm.