Twilight gala to raise the roof
A school pool is cool. Not only does it give hot summer bodies a chance to chill, but splashing about in one is great exercise, while a further benefit is learning to swim.
Milson School teachers take their classes for two scheduled swim sessions a week in the school’s covered pool. It’s also used for subsidised after school classes from a qualified swim instructor. Making sure kids are equipped with water skills at school is something that will last them into adulthood, and perhaps, who knows, cultivate a new generation of competitive swimmers.
More importantly, with the increase in drowning statistics, having those skills and being able to swim could one day save a life.
Principal of the year 1-6, decile4 school, Vanessa Pitt says an advantage that her school pool has is its roof. The opaque corrugated covering extends the school’s swimming season into the autumn.
The downside is that now, the roof erected between 20 and 30 years ago, needs replacing. And while the school’s budget covers the pool’s seasonal operating costs, the covering is a community owned facility, making its replacement ineligible for a Ministry of Education grant.
‘‘It’s not worth repairing, and it’s a lot bigger job than it looks. It needs replacing. The only other option is to take the cladding off and leave it off. Then the pool is not all-weather, and there are security issues.’’
The covering means the 17-metre pool can be secured. Without it, the facility is vulnerable.
‘‘We’ve had a rough quote to replace it of $40,000. For a small community, that’s quite a bit,’’ Vanessa says. ‘‘Our school community is made up of hardworking parents who don’t have a lot of spare cash.’’
That school community and its dedicated PTA have decided that the investment of time, energy and resources into raising money for the pool roof is worthwhile. So, let the fundraising begin. The first event towards raising the cash takes place at the school at the end of Rutland Pl this Friday night. The school is holding a twilight gala from 5pm – 8pm.
‘‘It’ll be a traditional gala with bouncy castle, food stalls, raffles and opportunities for family fun – like sponge the principal!’’ Vanessa widens her eyes in mock anguish.
‘‘We’re combining it with a ‘meet the teacher whanau evening’, and the kids can be out on the grounds enjoying themselves.’’
Ethan Davenport-Hewitt, 9, Alysha Smith, 10, Chris Greig, 8, Abbey Kendall, 9, Dominic Smith, 9, Kayleigh Greig, 10 all enjoy a dip in the Milson School pool. They are looking forward to Friday’s twilight gala towards raising $40,000 to replace the pool roof.