Upgrade hits pool users
Matamata’s $1.3 million pool upgrade is finally going ahead but could seriously inconvenience regular users.
Closing Matamata Sports Centre’s pools for three months for the upgrade could cost Swim Matamata and coach Graeme Laing income and clients.
The pools July 6 for months.
Laing leases the Learn to Swim school off Swim Matamata. Swim Matamata president Karen Raymond is worried the closure will cost the club and Laing a lot of money.
Laing said he appreciated the Matamata-Piako District Council undertaking the upgrade but it was a shame they were upgrading both pools at the same time rather than one at a time.
The upgrade will mean he will hold no Learn to Swim classes for three months. However, Laing said this was the quietest time of year for lessons due to calving.
But the Swim Matamata squad, which he also coaches, never had down time. He will try to hold trainings at Opal Hot Springs.
Laing said, despite the fact the upgrade had been discussed for years, stakeholders had only been given a week’s notice the upgrade was happening. He hoped if any further upgrades were made, those affected would be given more notice. will close from around three
Raymond also questioned why the council seemed to be in a rush to start the upgrade, which will focus on accessibility improvements to the pool, as well as upgrades to the pumps, filters and balance tanks, when she estimated it had taken six years of discussion between the council, the swimming club and Matamata Futures to get to this point.
Mayor Jan Barnes said she realised the closure will inconvenience many of the pool’s regular customers. ‘‘Closing the pools means we will be able to complete the work faster and at a lower cost to ratepayers,’’ she said. ‘‘We’re keen to get started and get the upgraded pools reopened in time for a busy spring and summer.’’
While the pools will be unavailable during this period it will be business as usual for Fitzone Gym, Zone Espresso Bar and the United Matamata Squash Club, which are also based at the sports centre.
When the pools reopen later this year, they’ll also have a new name – they’ll be known as Swim Zone Matamata.
Matamata Futures chairman Frank Healey said the group was ‘‘pleased the council is spending money on the pool to improve things but we have been pushing to improve the pool area by bringing in more fun things like slides’’. The council hoped to add ‘‘nice to have’’ features to the upgrade, such as heating in the changing rooms, if funding allowed. Cameron Muller, 5, of the the Hinuera Gadgets, enjoys the rippa rugby at Bedford Park on Saturday, June 27. This Saturday junior rugby concludes with Corinthian Day, a special competition held in a tournament style for each of the grades, including mini midgets, rippa rugby, 8th/9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th grade games.