Saturday, April 13, 2024

Wānaka pool site sold to education ministry

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has completed the sale of the former Wānaka Community Pool site to the Ministry of Education (MoE) allowing the land to be included in further expansion of Mount Aspiring College (MAC).

The pool closed in 2018 in line with the opening of new QLDC aquatic facilities at Wānaka Recreation Centre (WRC). Whilst the building itself remains, MAC has been using the land around it for temporary classroom space since 2019 under a licence to occupy arrangement between MoE and QLDC.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor, Jim Boult has confirmed the settlement had occurred as he joined MAC Chair Dr Ian Hall and Principal Nicola Jacobsen on a tour of the first new buildings of the school’s ongoing expansion to be occupied by students.

“There was never any doubt that the old pool site would become part of the MAC campus but like any sale of a community asset there were obviously a few legal hoops to jump through before that could be formally concluded. These included working with the Department of Conservation on the revocation of the site’s reserve status,” he said.

“The new buildings elsewhere on campus look very impressive and I’m delighted that the school and Ministry’s vision can now extend across to the former Council-managed land in a way that will benefit the Upper Clutha student community for years to come.”

Dr Hall said the timing of the settlement was ideal.

“We’re beginning to open new buildings which are the first tangible benefits for our school community after a huge amount of work by staff, my board colleagues, the Ministry and our project partners. The formal acquisition of the old pool site means we can move forward with confidence with the rest of our plans,” he said.

“The focus for this site will be health, wellbeing and fitness and we’re excited to see the future development of these parts of the school curriculum.”

The original Wānaka Community Pool at 121 Plantation Road was a Wānaka and District Lions Club project that opened in 1992. QLDC subsequently took over management of the facility on behalf of the community in 2009 before its closure and opening of brand new aquatic facilities at WRC in 2018.

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