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Thorpe St Andrew school launches £25,000 bid to revamp swimming pool

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 November 2017

PE teachers, Alistair Shearer and Francesca Turner, with Year 7 students, at the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool, which the school hopes to refurbish and update with a campaign for funds from the Aviva Community Fund. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

PE teachers, Alistair Shearer and Francesca Turner, with Year 7 students, at the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool, which the school hopes to refurbish and update with a campaign for funds from the Aviva Community Fund. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A high school is hoping people power will help it raise up to £25,000 to revamp its swimming pool for students and the community.

The Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which needs refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which needs refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Thorpe St Andrew High School is appealing for votes in the Aviva Community Fund scheme, which calls on the public to vote for their favourite project.

The pool is well-used by pupils, nearby primary schools and community swimming clubs, but the Friends of Thorpe St Andrew School, who are behind the bid, say the “current facilities will not be able to sustain to level of use for much longer”.

If they secure enough votes, the money would go towards new plant equipment, changing rooms, cubicles, toilets, showers, windows, tiling and a new entrance area.

Equipment left by the side of the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which needs refurbishing and updating and has no storage. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Equipment left by the side of the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which needs refurbishing and updating and has no storage. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ian Clayton, headteacher, said: “To lose such a well-used facility in Thorpe St Andrew would be detrimental to the school and community.

“We are looking to raise a substantial amount to go towards improving the swimming pool such as, the changing rooms, cubicles, toilets, showers, windows, replacing the plant equipment and retiling the pool and surrounding area.

“We cannot do this alone and need community support to achieve this goal.”

The Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool building. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool building. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

MORE: School launches campaign to save its pool from closure

The changing rooms at Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which need refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The changing rooms at Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which need refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Through improving the facilities, he said, the school would be able to up the pool’s usage.

The appeal cites the Greater Norwich Growth’s Board infrastructure plan for the area from May 2015, in which it highlighted the need for the school’s pool to be refurbished.

They have joined a handful of other schools fighting to save their pools, including Drayton Junior School.

The covers for the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which are not used as they cannot be winched over the pool, and are in need refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The covers for the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool which are not used as they cannot be winched over the pool, and are in need refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Since the pool was forced to close in 2015, £60,000 has been raised in grants, donations and fundraising to bring it up to scratch, including a new roof.

Headteacher David Oldham said: “We are working to try and secure funding for the future, so when Drayton grows we aren’t here again.

“We use the pool for four hours a week - the rest of the time it is used by the community.”

The baffles in the roof of the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool to deaden sound, which needs refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The baffles in the roof of the Thorpe St Andrew High School swimming pool to deaden sound, which needs refurbishing and updating. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The school, which plans to host a celebration this month to mark the pool’s official reopening, benefitted from a £500 donation from Moth in a China Shop charity.

• To cast your vote for Thorpe’s pool, click here.

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