Goggles, kickboard and instructor Ray are what the Penguins in the Learn to Swim program at Glenbrook pool expect to see on their weekly visits.
So imagine their surprise when lessons kicked off for 2013 under a rather large retractable dome roof.
Three-year-old Miles Vartha, his big sister Evie, 5, and their regular swimming buddies, stood by amazed as the $300,000 glass-like dome roof was opened up in their 20 metre training pool last Friday.
“The roof,” Miles uttered in amazement.
Mum, Lenore, said it meant her children would have some continuity in their lessons by being able to keep swimming throughout winter.
Pool staff are also thrilled about the new five metre high Libart-designed enclosure which is 330 sqm in area, manufactured in Turkey and built by Skyview Construction NSW. The new dome has been paid for by Blue Mountains City Council and is made of aluminium and polycarbonate double walled sheets — sheets that are 20 times stronger than glass with 99.9 per cent UV resistance, a council spokeswoman said.
Glenbrook Pool manager Kirrily Twomey said the pool roof had been bolted together on site over the last three weeks with some final indoor and outdoor concreting still to be completed.
“The Springwood centre is quite overcrowded and just by doming this existing council asset we can make the best use of Glenbrook and give year round swimming,” she said.
“The 50 metre pool is open for nine months, but we have that older population that don’t have that transport access so this pool, while it is a shorter pool, still does have that ability for people to do water-based exercise,” Ms Twomey said.
Glenbrook has 250 children doing Learn to Swim lessons weekly and they hope to increase that number to 750 by next year.
“Springwood has 1600 a week so we think it’s a realistic target. Learning to swim is one of the most important skills and to have a facility year round is just really exciting.”