Express & Star

Wolverhampton school swimming pool gets new lease of life thanks to £160,000 revamp

A swimming pool at a Wolverhampton school has been brought back to life following a £160,000 revamp.

Councillor Wendy Thompson cuts the ribbon, pictured with headteacher Ian Chamberlain and councillors Ellis Turrell and Jonathan Crofts

When Matrix Academy Trust took over Smestow Academy in January last year, it found the swimming pool at the site to be unusable.

A year on, the facilities have been completely overhauled and a grand reopening was held on Friday to mark the occasion.

The revamp involved a full refurbishment of the changing rooms, showers, communal areas and poolside, as well as upgraded LED lighting.

The newly refurbished pool opens at Smestow Academy in Wolverhampton

Smestow Academy headteacher Ian Chamberlain said: "For many in the area, this pool holds warm associations but there had been no investment in more than five years.

"Bringing the pool back to life was a top priority when our trust took on Smestow Academy.”

Ethan Walker, 14, Tara Smallwood, 14, Riley Nutt, 12, and Dorian Kus, 12, try out the pool

Wolverhampton councillor Wendy Thompson, who had the honour of cutting the ribbon to declare the pool open, revealed that her own children had learned to swim in the pool.

Councillor Jonathan Crofts was also in attendance and shared with the audience that he had himself learned to swim there over 30 years ago.

The ceremony was also attended by Councillor Ellis Turrell and the headteacher of nearby Castlecroft Primary School, Andy Dyall.

The school wants to provide local primary schools with the opportunity to use the facility, along with opening it up for use by the wider community.

The newly refurbished pool facilities

Mr Chamberlain added: “This reopening represents a milestone for our school, demonstrating our commitment to providing exceptional facilities that promote health, wellbeing and educational enrichment.

"This is another landmark in the rapid and sustainable improvement in the quality of education at our school since joining Matrix Academy Trust.

“The swimming pool has been a significant part of the school’s long history and a wonderful facility for the community for decades before.

The newly refurbished pool facilities

"The project to bring the pool back to life has involved a full refurbishment of the changing rooms, showers, communal areas and poolside.

"It’s also required an overhaul to the plant machinery that runs the pool to improve efficiency and to increase the longevity of the pool.

"An upgrade to LED lighting and the addition of a pool cover has further reduced energy consumption, ensuring it can be run sustainably, decades into the future.”