Community welcomes centre’s revamp

Community welcomes centre’s revamp
The new Huia Poo l + Fitness centre has exceeded its admission targets with 443,000 visitors to the complex from the year to July.

A year after Lower Hutt recreation icon Huia Pool was extended with a new hydrotherapy and learn to swim pool and fitness suite, the facility is exceeding its admission targets and welcoming a range of new clientele.
Huia Pool + Fitness opened in July 2017 with a second building, almost identical to the original, containing a new 25m by 20m learn to swim and hydrotherapy pool, and a 400sqm fitness suite on its second storey.
Huia Pool + Fitness manager Stephen Keatley says plans for the centre’s redevelopment started 10 years ago, and the initial idea was to add a small learn to swim pool to meet the needs of an increasing learn to swim clientele.
As the plans progressed, councillors and Deputy Mayor David Bassett had received feedback from Hutt City residents that a public hydrotherapy pool was needed, and could this happen in the redevelopment.
“The project was approved to extend the learn to swim pool as water temperature and depths are similar to the requirements for a hydrotherapy pool,” Stephen says. Once the development plans was signed off by council, the only hydrotherapy pool in Lower Hutt at Hutt Hospital was closed down.
“With learn to swim demand low during the day, we’ve ended up with two 25m by 10m pools which are opened up during the day for hydrotherapy, while our original pools are left for playing and swimming.”
Huia Poo l + Fitness has exceeded its admission targets with 443,000 visitors to the complex from July to July, compared to the average yearly admissions of 300,000 for the past four years.
Our admissions have gone up really well,” says Stephen. “People have really embraced our new facilities, and we’re seeing a big rise in our learn to swim and hydrotherapy numbers.
We also have 850 new members for the gym.” Huia Pool + Fitness has hired six staff for the new fitness suite, and 1.5 full time lifeguards and a couple of casuals for the poolside.
The increase in pool users has mostly been covered by existing staff due to the new facilities being much more programmed.
Stephen says the majority of Huia Pool + Fitness visitors are extremely pleased with the new facility and all it has to offer. “They like the new fitness suite and being able to get their exercise.
Community welcomes centre’s revamp
More and more groups who work with people that have a disability are coming along in groups of five to 10, and the over 65 numbers have doubled.”
As well as more admissions, the redevelopment has brought Huia Pool + Fitness a wide range of new clientele, and Stephen says the facility’s staff are embracing the challenges of catering to more people with different needs.
“We’ve done a few training courses with IHC to help us to work effectively with people with disabilities which has been really positive, while people using the hydrotherapy pool love to chat, so our staff are getting a lot more interaction with our clients.”
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