Pool repairs needed

Methven Community Pool committee members, from left, Lisa Quinn, Jenny Thompson and Emily Cooke, pull up the covers on the final day of the swim season last week, unsure if the pool will reopen again next summer.

The Methven Community Pool has been a summertime water haven for its community for near on 100 years. But now it needs urgent repairs.

The pool facility is a non-profit organisation run by a committee of dedicated volunteers.

Among them pool committee members Jenny Thompson (treasurer), Emily Cooke (key master), Lisa Quinn and Juanita Richards who covered the pool for the final time of the season last week, not knowing if it will reopen again next summer.

Ella Quinn, 12, helping out Methven pool committee members in the learners pool on closing day.

It needs a new filtration system, sealing, professional painting and facility upgrades at a cost of $250,000.

It’s a big ask, but the pool is a valuable asset used by its close-knit community, the three schools in Methven and members of the general public.

A Givealittle page is being set up and requests for funding grants being carried out. People can also deposit money in the pool bank account 2-0868-0013623-00.

The Methven Community Pool was opened in 1929, then enlarged and reconstructed in 1966.

Pool committee chairman Jimmy Newport, in the first of many funding requests, said an upgrade to the efficiency of the pool’s operating system was urgently needed.

“Over the past four years we have replaced both heat pumps and upgraded the chemical system and the next step is to replace the filtration and pump system.

“Unfortunately this season we have had a major breakdown with the pump and had to close the pool for over three weeks while a part was sourced and an engineer was available to help our maintenance crew complete the repair.

“This only further highlighted to the committee that we need to urgently replace this machinery.”

It’s a community asset used by keyholders, pupils of the three schools in Methven and members of the general public.

It involves the replacement of the filter, pipes and pump to improve the efficiency of the pool system, he said.

There had also been deterioration of pool surfaces, traditionally painted by committee members, and a need to replace damaged tiered seating poolside with “more family friendly seating including tables, benches and small sections of tiered seats”.

Pool committee secretary Jo Newport said it had been a difficult season.

“At times we did wonder if we would even make it through but we are very fortunate to have a dedicated maintenance crew and we were blown away by the offers of help from the community.”

“The committee now face a very busy off-season fundraising, applying for grants and hopefully upgrading the pool equipment to allow the Methven Community Pool to continue to service our schools and wider community in the coming years,” she said.

The pool, tucked away on McDonald Street, operates annually from November to March with access to the pool via the purchase of a key, visits by pupils from Mount Hutt College, Methven Primary School and Our Lady of the Snows schools and until this season lifeguarded hours for public access.

The pool committee was unable to find sufficient lifeguards this season, which restricted public openings, but did sell around 95 keys to keyholders.

In a normal season the committee ran fundraising and community events and corporate races, which were impacted by covid restrictions, but also swim squads and popular learn to swim lessons.

The pool was opened in 1929 but then enlarged and reconstructed in 1966.

The facility has two outdoor heated pools, a regular 33m pool and a learners pool, each with a temperature of around 27 degrees.

The pool is funded by key sales, admission charges, fundraising and an annual $15,000 taxpayers contribution from the Ashburton District Council.