People travel dozens of kilometers to take a steam in Alexandria
In order to prevent an Alexandria sports complex with a pool from idling people are brought there from villages and towns situated dozens of kilometers away. There are only about 500 inhabitants in the President’s home village of Alexandria. However, the village was chosen for building the big water-sports complex. The head of the institution Andrei Mironau told ERB that there were no complexes that could compare to the one in Alexandria in any of the nearby districts.
Andrei Mіronau: “We have a spacious game hall – 46x25 metres, a children’s and an adults’ pool and bathtubs for hydromassage. There is a lounge, a football pitch and track-and field facilities”.
According to the director, the pool can serve 35 people an hour. That is the duration of one session. ERB counted that 14 hours was enough for the pool to serve all the inhabitants of Alexandria including babies and the handicapped.
However, according to a local teacher Svyatlana Pyatrouna, villagers are not eager to visit their sports palace.
Svyatlana Pyatrouna: “Local inhabitants are not eager to go to the pool or sauna. They have no time. People work on the collective farm all day long. And the prices … I wouldn’t say it was cheap. The majority of visitors come from other places. People say it is better to go to your own bath-house instead of the sauna or the pool”.
An hour in the pool in the President’s home village costs 3360 rubles. An hour in the game hall is 5700. An hour in the sauna meant for 6 people costs 34200. Svyatlana Pyatrouna says it is too expensive for teachers who earn 400-500 thousands per month. The same can be said about collective farmers who earn practically the same amount of money. That is why people from nearby villages and towns are brought to Alexandria.
The director of the complex says they have a lot of visitors. Not everyone manages to take a steam in the President’s home village – some people leave without having done it. He says a small advertisement on TV and in a newspaper was enough.
Andrei Mіronau: “There are a lot of visitors. People leave without being served”.
The town of Baran is situated 20 kilometers away from Alexandria. The town has 13 thousand inhabitants and no pool. There was one but it stopped functioning 10 years ago because the house needs major repairs and the town has no money for it. That is why some employees of the enterprise “Lyos” asked their administration to organize trips to Alexandria.
A member of the professional committee Zinaida Victarauna told ERB that the director even gave them an “Icarus” to make trips once a week. People have to pay 1 thousand rubles for the trips besides paying for the ticket to the pool. About 30 people ordered this service. However, only 20 people decided to make the trip. Now the committee doubts people would decide to waste a whole day-off just to swim in the pool.
Zіnaіda Vіctarauna: “It is rather far away. Those who wanted it can make the trip. Maybe they will do it for a month or two, they are common people”.
The director of Alexandria pool informed ERB that the institution was not paying for itself even though a lot of people from other towns kept coming to take a steam. The money they get is not enough to pay salaries to the staff and to pay for the electricity.
Andrei Mіronau: “I can only pay for the electricity and chemical substances needed for the pool. The salary and heating are paid from the budget”.
A teacher of the school says that pupils like going to the pool. There are free classes for them. Children from the kindergarten can also visit it for free. That’s about 219 people. When people from other towns and villages are bored with trips to Alexandria it will not be enough to fill all the halls of the huge sports complex built in a tiny village.