School’s battle to save its pool from closure

Sandown School swimming pool. 31/10/12 Debbie Ramsey and Louise Barham, who are on the PTA,  with Heather Atkinson (Teacher) and Sue Atkinson (TA).

Sandown School swimming pool. 31/10/12 Debbie Ramsey and Louise Barham, who are on the PTA, with Heather Atkinson (Teacher) and Sue Atkinson (TA).

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A SCHOOL’S swimming pool may have to shut for good unless it can raise a massive £180,000 within 18 months.

Parents and staff at Sandown School, on The Ridge, have been trying for more than two years to raise cash to renovate the aging building that houses the pool.

But it has reached such a state of disrepair it will need to be replaced.

Debbie Ramsey, of Austen Way, who sits on the school’s Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), said: “We need £180,000 in 18 months or the pool, which is used by Red Lake School, Castledown School and many other groups, may have to be demolished as the building that houses it is more than 50 years old. It is now in such a state of disrepair, that experts have said that the building may not last much longer. If the pool has to close, it will be a tragedy for everybody who uses it.

“We did have plans back in 2010 to refurbish the building and it was only going to cost around £100,000, but with inflation and the recession the cost has risen to £180,000. We would like to redevelop the building housing the pool, which would include ramps and hoists for disabled children and adults who would like to use the pool after school.”

She added the school had applied to countless charitable organisations, such as the Lottery, for grants but been turned down flat by all of them.

Mrs Ramsey said: “Raising this staggering amount of money is now left to us at Sandown. Hastings MP Amber Rudd is writing to the county council to see if it can help us in any way. We have also received a very generous donation of £500 a month from Costcutter in Malvern Way. Another parent, Becky Arnold, is running 5K on Saturday in London’s Victoria Park to raise funds to save Sandown Primary School’s swimming pool. If anybody would like to sponsor Becky in her run or just send a donation sent it to Sandown Primary School, The Ridge, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 2AA.”