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Losing TWS Swim School

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on August 15, 2007 at 12:51:00 pm

BGI Swimming Pool Historic Building at 68/71 Tasman Street 


The Old BGI Swimming Pool buidling, is now owned by Foodstuffs and the site for a new proposed supermarket, apartments, petrol station and liquor store. The building is currently not listed by the Historic Places Trust and is not in the District Plan. The building is planned for demolition, pending approval, in early 2008. In addition to the potential loss of this historic building, there will be the loss of a community swimming pool open to the public in the suburb of Mount Cook, and very importantly the loss of Wellington's only dedicated 'Learn to Swim' school run by Scott Wilson of TSW.  Let's try save the fa├žade and front part of the buidling - foyer and balcony, at least from a historical point of view, by putting pressure on the WCC to list the building in the District Plan, thereby offering it some protection from demolition!


Some building background and history:


The BGI Swimming Pool was first established in 1883 when a group of young members of St John's in the City Presbyterian Church donated money to set up bathing facilities for disadvantaged children and youths, whose families used their baths to store coal. The Tasman street pool is 97 years old and was the first indoor swimming pool in the Southern Hemisphere. When council started setting up swimming pools to cater for the public, the pool and gymnasium was sold in 1999 by St John's Church in the City to fund other more innovative youth programmes.


Built in the early 1900s as the Boys Institute pool it became TSW Aquatics in 1993 and was re-branded TSW Swim School in 2004. 

The Boys and Girls Institute (BGI) was established in 1883 by a group of young people associated with St John's. It is an organisation committed to the development of youth in the community.  Most Wellingtonians will associate the name of BGI with the gymnasium and swimming pool facilities that it used to own on Tasman St, now owned by Foodstuffs.



2002/2003 St John's In The City Annual Report (www.stjohnsinthecity.org.nz/about/documents/StJohnsAnnRep03.pdf)

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