£36m school to move town pool

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MONMOUTH swimming pool will be moved to make way for the new £36 million secondary school.

Monmouthshire councillors approved the decision at a full council meeting on Thursday to release funding for the 21st Century Programme which included £35.1 million for Caldicot School, £3.4 million for primary school investment and £5 million towards a Welsh medium secondary school in Newport.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet agreed on July 16 on option two of three to build the new Monmouth Comprehensive School on the existing community pool site in Old Dixton Road. The council has committed to building a replacement 25m pool which will be adjacent to the leisure centre.

An amended motion for the council to commit to building the new pool at the same time as the school was defeated.

Councillor Bob Greenland, cabinet member for innovation, enterprise and leisure, said he couldn’t support the amendment as the budget had yet to be identified. He said the feasibility study on the pool would be presented to councillors in September to determine its budget, where the funding will come from and a timetable for construction.

He said: “This is an urgent matter. I have asked the project director to make sure that the period of closure is as short as possible.”

Councillor Frances Taylor, member for Mill, said: “Monmouth swimmers don’t feel that they have been consulted or have been engaged in this process.”

Cllr Taylor also questioned the fact that officers knew in May that option two would be the viable option for the new building.

The council has estimated a cost of £5.5 million to replace the swimming pool in the 21st Century School’s report.

They previously said that Monmouth would be without a swimming pool for 12 months and is currently in discussions with Haberdashers’ School to use their facilities.

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