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New community swimming pool to be built at Frith Manor Primary School
A father-of-one has been given the go-ahead to build a community swimming pool after negotiating for eight years with Barnet Borough Council.
With planning permission and the terms of the lease finally agreed, Jonathan Rolfe, 35, is ready to build the £1million pool on disused land at the back of Frith Manor Primary School in Lullington Garth, Woodside Park.
Mr Rolfe’s mother and father, Ronald and Pamela Rolfe, set up Oakleigh Park School of Swimming for £30,000 in 1975.
They had taught swimming for 40 years and wanted their own pool to teach small groups in warm water – now 38 years later their son Jonathan is eager to follow in their footsteps to set up his own facility for people in Woodside Park.
Jonathan, who also helps run lessons at Northway School in Mill Hill, said: “The Whetstone site is very popular and so we need more room for people to enjoy swimming.
“Frith Manor offered the perfect site and with the lease agreed we’re ready to get building.
“Schools spend a lot of time and money taking children to and from swimming lessons. Now with their own pool on their doorstep we’ll be saving them a lot of time and money.”
Building work began on site on August 19 and is due to be completed by May 4, creating 30 new job opportunities in the borough.
Frith Manor will be able to use the 20m by 8m pool for two hours Monday to Friday during term time, but other schools will also have the opportunity to use the facility.
The rest of the time the pool will be open to the community, offering swimming lessons for all ages.
There will also be a new swim team which will take part in competitions, a car park with between 16 and 20 spaces and a classroom where people can train to become qualified swimming teachers and lifeguards.
Jonathan’s father Ronald, 81, said: “I’m very excited to see Jonathan following in our footsteps. Although he’s been negotiating with the council for eight years it has given us time to make sure the plans are perfect.”
Jonathan and his wife Suzanne, 33, are looking forward to teaching their 12-weeks-old son Jenson how to swim at the new pool.
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