School’s sinking feeling

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Queenstown Primary School is about to be left high and dry for close-by swimming facilities after 40 years.

Now that Wakatipu High School is on the move to its swanky new Frankton site, its old pool, also used by Queenstown Primary (QPS), has an uncertain future.

The Ministry of Education, which currently administers the Crown-owned land, says it’s “unlikely to be available for ongoing use” by QPS.

But QPS teacher of 38 years and concerned community member Mark Douglas reckons that’s ridiculous.

“There’s nothing wrong with that pool and it’s going to be left to rot,” he says.

He’s suggesting that whoever takes on the land leaves both the pool and stadium in working condition for the school and public to use.

“It astounds me that an asset that would cost some millions to rebuild is just going to be allowed to rot away,” he says.

The pool has already been emptied and there’s no telling when a change in administrating hands might happen. Rob Giller, the ministry’s acting buildings boss, says the site “is not in the disposal process”.

However, Ngai Tahu Property has first right of refusal for the site.

Ngai Tahu’s property boss, David Kennedy, says because the site is currently administered by the ministry he is not able to answer any questions regarding the future of the site.

But he is “sympathetic” to the needs of community groups that use the site – many of whom have contacted Ngai Tahu directly.

The council confirms there is space for QPS to attend Frankton’s Alpine Aqualand next year but Douglas says that will cost at least $260 per time in bus hire alone.

mandy.cooper@scene.co.nz