School swimming pool revamps under way
Work under way to refurbish the Christ Church Infant School pool
WORK has begun on two separate projects to revamp school swimming pools in Downend and Mangotsfield.
Generations of children in the area have learned to swim in the pools at Christ Church C of E Infant School and Barley Close Community Primary School.
But both pools were badly in need of refurbishment and fundraising has been under way to pay for the work needed.
At Christ Church Infants, the school has come to an agreement with swimming teacher Jane Short, who has run First Strokes Swim School for nearly 25 years.
Jane has agreed to pay £12,000 towards the cost of the refurbishment, which the school will treat as advanced payment on hire costs and add to money the school had raised.
In a normal year around 250 children learn to swim with First Strokes at Christ Church and around 300 at Barley Close.
Jane said: "The sides of the pool at Christ Church had rusted and last year was the last time we were able to use it.
"A friend of mine remembers her parents fundraising for it to be built when she was at school – and she's 52!
"In the last 15 years, ten pools have been closed and bulldozed or redeveloped in and around Bristol. I’m very thankful that Christ Church and Barley Close schools have decided to refurbish and give children the opportunity to learn to swim."
Contractors from First4Pools are expected to finish at Christ Church ready for children to be able to swim after Easter.
Head teacher Anna Martin said: "We are very much looking forward to a non-leaking, heat retaining pool."
At Barley Close, work is under way to replace the roof at the pool, which is used from Easter to October for lessons and fun sessions.
Head teacher Jo Williams said the pool is nearly 50 years old and the roof had started to let rain in.
Funding is coming from more than £10,000 raised by parents over the past ten years, and a number of grants.
Once the roof has been replaced by Downend-based Beefree Construction, the school will look at internal work which needs doing to improve the pool, using funding from a £50,000 award from South Gloucestershire.