Children from a Rotherham special school had an extra reason to look forward to returning to lessons after the summer break, as they got to make a splash in a new £1 million hydrotherapy pool complex.
The brand new, purpose-built facility at Newman School in Whiston has been funded by the Department for Education and designed and built by Rotherham Council.
It replaces a 50-year-old pool, which was no longer fit for purpose and which some students were unable to access.
Paul Silvester, Head Teacher at Newman School said: “We’re really excited about the new hydrotherapy pool complex and the significant physical, mental health and learning benefits it will provide to our pupils.
“Rotherham Council’s project manager, Kathryn Stewart encouraged us to have input into the design of the building throughout the project and I’m thrilled that our suggestions have been incorporated so that all our students will now be able to access and enjoy the full benefits of hydrotherapy. Not only that, there’s no other facility like it in the region and we’re keen to partner with the NHS so that it can be used to help in the treatment of people from the wider community.”
- New state of the art changing rooms and showering facilities, suitable for children with all types of disability
- Heated water, allowing prolonged use and the delivery of lessons in the pool
- Variable pool depths, allowing use for children of all ages and levels of water-confidence
- Underwater jets and lighting for use in therapy
- An overhead tracking system and hoist to give access to children with restricted mobility
Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Neighbourhood Working, said: “The Council’s number one priority is to provide every Rotherham child with the best possible start in life and It’s proven that hydrotherapy can provide many health and educational benefits for children with a wide range of conditions.
“This project supports our significant investment in additional school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities across the borough.”
Cllr Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, added: “Our building design team listened very closely to the aspirations and attention to detail of the school during the design and build process so that their daily, practical needs could be met. This input has been invaluable in delivering a facility which pupils, parents and teaching staff can feel extremely proud of.”
As well as designing and delivering the project, Rotherham Council’s Asset Management, Building Design Team were responsible for securing the funding from the Department for Education. The building contractor was R H Fullwood & Co.
Last week Rotherham Council announced proposals to invest a further £1.2 million in creating 111 new school places for children with special educational needs across the borough.