The pool's future was in doubt until the school received a one-off grant of $420,000 in March last year from Wellington City Council's School Pools Partnership Fund. The total cost of the rebuild will be over $550,000.
Set up in 2010, the $2 million fund helps schools to maintain and improve their pool facilities for wider community benefit. This includes improving access to learn-to-swim programmes, aquatic education and water sports.
School Pools Partnership Fund
The 14-metre heated pool at Khandallah School was housed in a damp dilapidated building. With hundreds of children in the northern suburbs reliant on the pool for their swimming lessons, the building needed to be replaced before it became unusable.
"Many children have learnt to swim in this pool over the years and it's an important part of our school," says Catherine Cooper, Board of Trustees Chairperson.
"It's not only the pupils at Khandallah School who benefit. We have around 300 children who come from neighbouring schools to learn to swim as well as many who take private lessons at the pool with Easyswim Swim School."
Built in 1956, the old building was in poor repair. The structure was damaged by condensation, which meant the future of the pool was uncertain.
"There was no ventilation or heating and if you were a spectator, you got dripped on. This new building will change all that and enable us to keep using the pool to help children learn to swim," says Catherine.
The new building has insulated wall panels and a ventilation system to eliminate the condensation. Changing rooms are bigger with better access and options for families.
While the School Pools Partnership Fund is focused on improving facilities at schools, a condition of these grants is that they provide a service for other nearby schools, water-sports and surf lifesaving organisations as well as the local community.
"The fund will help to meet demand for swimming facilities in Wellington - especially when it comes to learn-to-swim programmes," says Councillor John Morrison, Portfolio Leader for Sports and Events.
"We talked with a lot of schools, swimming groups, and also with our own staff who manage Council pools. Our pools are just not able to take all the children and adults who want to learn or improve their swimming - not to mention the water-sports groups. The fund is helping to alleviate this problem," he says.
Khandallah School was the first to receive a grant from the School Pools Partnership Fund. In October last year the Swimming Trust of Wellington received a $450,000 grant to redevelop a 25-metre pool and 12-metre learning pool for Wellington East Girls' College, and these pools will benefit at least five other schools in the area. Berhampore School was awarded $119,000 to construct a new building over their pool so it can be used all year and a smaller amount was awarded to Tawa School.