The new swimming pool for Naas is due to open shortly, and should be just part of a brand new sports complex being developed along the Caragh road. The indoor courts and all weather soccer pitches are already open (although a little rough and ready last time I was up there – though my ball work was equally so!) The skate park is to go in at the same site on the far side of the pitches and finally a playground is planned between the complex and canal.
The old pool had seen better days and the new one was badly needed. 10 million was allocated to the new pool project and facilities are to include a learning area, a sauna/steam room, a fitness suite, an aerobic studio and village type changing room. Last I heard the pool was due to open this February (next month) and details were still being worked out for the management operation. As a public investment project the complex should exist as a local amenity rather than a business and the management structure, whilst outsourced from the council, will have a governance board to include reps from county and town councils.
There was a hiccup recently when some local schools (including Caragh which has a particular dependence on swimming as PE) attempted to schedule classes at the new pool only to be told that no reservations could be guaraunteed. These schools would have been long term users of the old pool and it would be a poor public service were they to be refused slots. I raised this, through Cllr. Creevey on Naas Town Council, and he co-sponsored a motion at the last town council meeting querying the scheduling practices for the new pool. We secured a commitment from the town clerk that a communication would issue to the complex ensuring a pro-active policy to protect established users of the old pool. I did discover some of the local commercial pools were quite happy to accommodate schools and already doing so in some cases, but with public money funding the new centre it is only right the local schools should have that option open at least.