The Governors of the John Colet Academy and the Committee of the Wendover Swimming Association make the following announcement.
The boilers which heat the water at the Wendover Pool failed last summer which meant the John Colet School had to close the pool in autumn 2012 because of the low water temperature.
The School has made a detailed review of the repairs required including installing new boilers and repairing the air heater. The immediate cost to make the pool usable is approximately £20,000 and the anticipated repairs needed over the next five years are estimated to cost £90,000. The running costs of the pool are around £40,000 per year in addition to this. The Governors and the Committee agree that even if the money could be raised to make repairs this year, doing so would be a waste of the School’s and the members’ money if the level of running costs and repairs mean that the pool cannot be kept open beyond 2013.
The WSA’s contribution to the pool costs and income from swimming clubs amounts to around £12,000 each year. Currently, the School receives a grant of approximately £17,000 per year from Buckinghamshire County Council to assist with the running costs of the pool. However, this grant will cease for all Buckinghamshire schools which have a pool from September 2013 so there will be a shortfall of around £28,000 per year on running the Wendover Pool.
The John Colet School Governors add:
Given the withdrawal of the swimming pool grant and with likely further reductions in Government funding in future, it is important that we use school funds to support the curriculum. Swimming is not a compulsory activity on the secondary curriculum; therefore we have to think very carefully about any actions that could be detrimental to the rest of the school. We have fantastic sporting facilities including the multi-use games area, four football pitches and the sports hall, which are available for community use outside of school hours.
We are currently working with the WSA to look at the options for the pool. A conclusion will need to be reached by May half term, as all budgets and curriculum planning needs to have been finalised by then for the forthcoming academic year. We are proud of our strong links with the community and are working hard to reach a workable conclusion.
The Wendover Swimming Association Committee comments:
WSA appreciate that the school must prioritise its spending and recognise that the running and repair costs of the pool will become unaffordable once the County grant stops in the autumn. If the repairs are not made, to the boilers at least, then the Pool cannot re-open. This would be an enormous pity, particularly as the Pool was originally built by the community itself. The Governors have asked WSA whether the community could do more to operate the pool and make it significantly cheaper to run and to repair.
So, we are asking the members of the WSA and the wider community what you would like to see happen now. Please contact us with your views, comments, suggestions and any offers of support as soon as possible, by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be an open meeting to discuss the future of the Pool on Saturday 13th April.