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Some of Carew Peel Forest School's pupils with principal Sharon Ketter in the drained swimming pool.

Carew Peel Forest School has money in the bank for an upgrade and refurbishment of its swimming pool, a pool built by the community in 1943.

Some work on the pool started prior to lockdown, but with winter now here, much of the work will continue in November.

A big splash is expected when the new look community asset is unveiled in early December.

Some $20,000 for the pool project has been given by Hinds and District Lions, Mayfield Lions and other local donations, while a hefty Lotteries grant of $128,000 was recently received.

The school pool is large at 25m long, and also features a toddlers pool.

It is made of concrete and was built and paid for by the community.

Construction began in October 1941 and was completed four months later.

Socials and dances back in the day were the main source for funding it.

The volunteers who built it used 100 yards of Orari shingle and 14 and a half tons of cement, supported by reinforcing steel.

Fifteen centimetre thick walls have ensured the longevity of the pool over the years, but there are occasional leaks, paint is peeling and it’s time for an upgrade.

The new look pool will be tackled in two stages.

It will be cleaned and recoated in fibreglass in stage one, while a new, modern filtration system will be added in stage two. A new pump shed is also on the cards.

Carew Peel Forest School principal Sharon Ketter said the project was huge for the school.

It bucked a trend of schools getting rid of their pools and would mean a leak proof and smart new pool for the children and local community.

The Ministry of Education partially funded the cost of chemicals for the pool, and would pay to remove it, but they didn’t fund refurbishments.

“The community has the use of the pool via a pool key system for a small cost, which helps pay for minor maintenance.

“Our children learn to swim in it on a daily basis over the summer months and families also have free use of the barbecue within the pool area,” said Mrs Ketter.

– By Mick Jensen