Water playground closure a bonus for school

South Lake Leisure Centre’s closure will give Lakeland Senior High School breathing space as it expands over the next few years. Picture: Jon Hewson        d456803
South Lake Leisure Centre’s closure will give Lakeland Senior High School breathing space as it expands over the next few years. Picture: Jon Hewson        d456803

THE South Lake Leisure Centre’s outdoor water playground and indoor pools are set to be removed but a local high school says it will have plenty to work with when it gets access to the building next year.

As expected, Cockburn councillors gave the OK last Thursday to a plan for the City to enter a Deed of Agreement with the WA Education Department.

As part of the agreement, the City has allocated $200,000 to decommission the recreation centre before it is gifted to the department to help accommodate a growing Lakeland Senior High School.

The outstanding capital value of the facility, about $3.3m, will be written off.

While the aquatic facilities will be removed, much of the 25-year-old facility will remain.

Cockburn’s recreation and community safety manager Rob Avard said Lakeland SHS staff and students would have access to a basketball court, a gymnasium, offices, staff room, store rooms and extra car parking.

“The Education Department has no specific plans for the use of the facility, although with the closure of the Hamilton Hill Senior High School and its move to South Fremantle, it is expected that Lakeland Senior High School will see growth in its numbers over the next few years,” he said.

Lakeland SHS principal Laurie Longworth said the school would make good use of all space available. “The school is currently at rooming capacity so the additional space will be welcome,” he said. “It will also provide additional opportunities for the specialist touch football program and home economics department.

“We are planning to hire out the halls and other spaces after school, weekends and holidays.”

The Leisure Centre opened in 1991 after being built on land owned by the department.

Closure of the 25-year-old facility will coincide with the opening of the city’s $109m recreation centre, Cockburn ARC, at Cockburn Central West in early 2017.

With closure of the South Lake Leisure Centre expected by next April, we asked people on the Cockburn Gazette Facebook page to recall their favourite memories from the facility.

Alison Jaskula: “End of an era. Many happy memories of our childhood spent having fun there and years of swimming lessons and catch-ups with our kiddies over these past few years.”

Natalie McIntyre: “Excellent timing. So much work needs to be done there. End of an era and many memories including starting up my own business there.”

Jagoda Jaskula: “It is very sad. Been a member from the beginning and would like the centre to stay open despite the new facility being built.”

Joanne Abbott: “Personally I think this is crap. Why not keep it open at an affordable price? When the ARC is open, how much is it going to cost? Why not leave it for the local community or make it a public swim school? The government is always pushing for kids to learn to swim.”

Amanda Cole: “OMG, so many memories at that place. My love of hockey started there.”

Lisa Correia: “That’s sad. My husband and I met there.”

Mileta Miletic: “Sad times. Loved this place when I was younger.”

Aaron Potter: “Finishing runner up at futsal for the last ten years.”

Stefanie Traeger: “Worst decision ever!”