School raises £14,000 to keep pupils swimming

A SCHOOL has raised more than £14,000 to keep its swimming pool open but said there is still a ‘huge mountain to climb’.

Sandown School on The Ridge in Ore is trying to get £100,000 in total for the extensive repair work.

Helen Pugh, the school’s business manager, said: “The PTA has been doing some fantastic work fundraising and has got more than £14,000 over the last 10 months since we launched our appeal, running things like bag-packing at Morrisons and school discos. But we are still determined and the amount of work has not diminished. We still have a mountain to climb.”

The school has already carried out electrical repairs and converted the electric boiler to gas. But outstanding work includes replacing the extractor fans as there are problems with condensation. The pool floor also needs upgrading, as well as the changing rooms and cupboards.

Mrs Pugh said: “We still need to raise £80,000 and are hoping to keep the pool open throughout this year. Two other schools use it, together with local groups like Rainbows and Brownies so the pool is an asset to the whole community. The public have been very good in helping us. The Co-op in Old London Road has a collection bucket and we have collection boxes around town.”

The pool was built in 1969 by parents following the closure of the local baths. To help, Sandown School PTA can be contacted on 01424 436983.