A local resident wrote to me on the above subject and I believe that their concerns deserve a wider airing. I append the letter below:
I am sure many if you will have seen or sampled the new swimming pool in the new Community Campus. The whole place is a marvel of light and space and I hope that everyone, the pupils in particular, will enjoy and benefit from their new surroundings and the amazing facilities for the use and enjoyment of us all. It was planned for the advantage of the whole community.
I, too, was really looking forward to returning to swim regularly in our new pool, now that summer is gone and it is more difficult to get outside to keep fit. I have a bad back and arthritis, so non weight bearing exercise really helps to keep me limbered up.
However, I was dismayed to find that the pool and, more importantly, any one using it, is very much on display at all times. There are huge plate glass windows all along the corridor and on into the cafeteria which overlook the pool. There are no curtains or blinds of any kind to screen it off from anyone passing or sitting by the windows. It is the main access to the canteen so will be heavily used by everyone needing refreshments. I am no shrinking violet, but am very uncomfortable with the idea of (fully clothed) pupils passing regularly, their eyes naturally drawn to any activity in the pool. If I were slim and youthful I might enjoy to show off my “attributes” to all and sundry. As it is, I am over 70 years old and, sadly, “fings ain’t wot they used to be”!!
I think there are many who would agree that this is not conducive to a relaxing swim for some of us. I also think that some shyer, younger folks or people with physical disabilities, would prefer a less exposed swimming experience. I met with Donald Fraset, Senior Community Leisure Officer, for the Aberdeenshire Council, who I met for a discussion about this a few days ago. He agreed that your comments would be useful and he can be reached at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Most people shy away from airing their views on this kind of thing and “vote with their feet”. I don’t want to wait for the penny to drop! I would prefer what I hope is a simple and easy way to solve the problem asap, and hopefully without huge expense. There are blinds on the windows of the secretaries’ office and in the Community Meeting Room. I am sure there are more else where on the campus.
I think the pool would be used much more frequently and by a wider variety of people if the swimming pool were fitted with electronically operated blinds to match those in other parts of the building. For a swimming gala, it would be excellent for the blinds to be up and out of the way so that as many people as possible can see the action clearly. On other occasions it would be great if we could use the pool in comfort, without the “goldfish bowl”/ voyeur situation to contend with. I can grit my teeth and endure the mixed showers and changing rooms but would really prefer to swim in a relaxed environment without feeling so exposed.
Let us have your comments – both for and against – and we can pass them on to the Community Council for discussion.
I also have received comments about the shared toilet facilities throughout the school from both parents and pupils – is this also a concern for parents and the wider community?