A high school principal, a community youth worker and an experienced Councillor have highlighted the growing need for a new pool – along with a local library – in one of the city’s fastest-growing areas.
Christchurch City Council proposes to build a multi-use pool as part of a $35.7 million library, customer services and leisure centre at Denton Park in central Hornby.
Hornby High School principal Robin Sutton says a new pool and library will bring multiple benefits for the whole community.
“As a school, we see community hauora (health) as being top of the priority list, so we are fully in support of the community pool in that location,” Mr Sutton says.
“The Denton Park venue offers good visibility and accessibility for what, in our opinion, is a vital community library and leisure facility.
“The cluster of Hornby schools (called the Uru Mānuka cluster) is working hard on literacy across the community and so, for us, maximising access to the library is essential.
“As a cluster, we are working on building ever stronger connections with the Hornby Library in order to support community learning.”
Community Development Network Trust manager and Hornby youth worker James Harris says a new pool will “give a heart to Hornby”.
“Having a central facility that the whole community can use is vital,” Mr Harris says.
“Currently, it’s too far to other council pools – probably the closest is well out to Rolleston.
“We need a pool that is within walking distance. A lot of families live in our area and, for many, driving is not an option. Being able to take a bus to the pool, or walk or bike is ideal.
“We have a great community here but there are not a lot of recreational facilities around for young people and families.
“Another issue is the loss of pools at primary schools. So many youngsters can’t swim and that is a real concern. If a pool is not easily accessible, they will never learn.
“For me, to have a pool so close to my home – meaning we can easily walk there – will be great for my whole family.”
Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board member Vicki Buck says there is a huge need for great, family-friendly recreational facilities in the Hornby area.
“I’m so keen to see great swimming, recreational, leisure and community facilities in Hornby for the south-west of the city,” Councillor Buck says.
“This part of the city has grown tremendously in the years since the earthquakes, and it’s really important that we provide great public facilities equitably across the city.
“I think the community will love the buzz and excitement that swimming and indoor leisure facilities bring to the area and I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone – kids, parents, all the nearby schools, shoppers and older people – just being able to keep fit, relax and have fun.”