Top Of The Class – Swim Schools

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ABOVE: Cresta Leisure has reaped rich rewards from its swim school pool provision.

Boasting unrivalled commercial pool building credentials, Cresta Leisure has been closely involved with the phenomenal growth of swim schools in the UK.
The marriage of convenience began some six years ago when Cresta exhibited at a commercial leisure exhibition. “We were positioned next to the demo pool at LIW where hundreds of children and aspiring swim school teachers were promoting the virtues of babe and toddler swimming,” Cresta’s Tim Bareham recalls. “You will appreciate that this has been quite a ‘hot potato’ with many swim school teachers providing swimming lessons in residential pools which are frequently unsuitable,” Tim points out. Tim’s keen interest encouraged him to get involved with a working group within the Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association (SPATA) and the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), to establish guidelines for the provision, standards and requirements for pools suitable for swim schools. Triggered by Tim’s involvement, a SPATA member factsheet was published which highlights the basic requirements for a swim school. Significantly, it informs the reader that in EN-15288-1 a swim school is considered a Type 2 pool and will require circulation and filtration that meet commercial standards.

With this knowledge, Cresta Leisure has developed a swim school package that meets the EN standard and is within reach of a growing swim school business. Cresta concentrates on the pool and all the recommendations in the SPATA factsheet. Says Tim: “The cost of a turn-key project for a brand new indoor pool on a recently acquired site is way beyond the reach of most swim school operators. “As such our package assumes that the pool will be installed in an existing building such as an industrial unit or retail premises.” The Primavera (PVP) system involves no invasive or disruptive changes to the fabric to the building. As long as there is a structurally sound and level floor with adequate head space above the pool to allow safe access, then there will be no major alterations needed to install the pool.

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Says Tim: “This is well-received by potential landlords particularly when we can prove that there will be no deterioration to the fabric of the building by the correct use of environmental control, vapour barriers and damp resistant finishes. “If asset finance is required, the system is well received by lenders as the pool can be designated a ‘temporary structure’ which can be relocated in the event of a landlord terminating the lease on the building or the school needing to expand their facilities.”
As a modular system the PVP pool is easily handled and quickly assembled. The self-supporting structure is designed in such a way that recirculation pipes and flow fittings are contained within the pool walls. This ensures that the flow fittings are correctly sized and positioned to provide the correct circulation for distribution of chemicals and heat within the pool.
The pool is site lined with Alkor reinforced vinyl membrane which is, supplied and installed by Aquaflex. Alkor lined fibreglass internal steps are also recommended to provide safe entry into the pool.
top of the class pic 3Tim advises: “Where a pool is to be installed in an existing building, we find that a ‘project team’ comprising ourselves, theclient, the landlord, a general building contractor and an electrical contractor can achieve a very cost-effective solution.
“The aim is to install a cost effective pool that will accomplishes the specification that will satisfy the requirements of the SPATA and PWTAG standards for Teaching Pools medium rate filtration and a maximum 90 minute turnover,” Tim says.
Working with Heatstar, Cresta specify a correctly-sized dehumidifier to ensure an environment for bathers and teachers and maintain air quality that will not cause damage to the fabric of the building.
Tim explains: “We worked on our first swim school pool in 2014, when a client purchased a house with a domestic indoor pool to use as swim school.
“Our brief was to upgrade the pool, filtration, chemical control and dehumidification to get as close to Type 2 pool requirements as possible.
“Two years later, this same client wished to expand their fastgrowing business. We worked with them to find suitable premises where we could install a brand-new pool and associated services.” This was successfully achieved by using the PVP above ground swimming pool erected on a concrete floor of a leased retail premises with commercial filtration, automatic chemical control, Ultra Violet disinfection from National Leisure and Heatstar dehumidifier.
Since then, Cresta Leisure have completed three more similar projects and are currently working on 14 more.
The above ground pool tank is robust and well suited to a commercial application. It is well suited for erection in exiting leased premises without the need for significant invasive construction work.

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Offering vastly reduced timescales from order to completed projects that are acceptable by banks and finance companies for business loans, Cresta advise swim-school operators that they top of the class pic 5should consider a budget of £100,000 for everything required for 10x5m Type 2 pool with dehumidification and advanced chemical control.
The lead time for the supply of the pool panels is three to four weeks from order confirmation. However, once the kit arrives on-site we can complete the project with warm water and ready to open for business within four weeks. This has proved to be very popular with all of Cresta’s swim school clients. To date, the client has normally completed the STA Plant Operators course and is therefore up to speed with the operation and maintenance of swimming pools. “We supply a very comprehensive and illustrated Operation and Maintenance Manual and conduct on-site training on the pool system for the client and operational staff. “We also provide after sales support, during the warranty period, but encourage clients to arrange maintenance contracts with local pool service providers who can advise on on-going requirements close to home,” Tim adds.
To this end, Cresta is pleased to work with other National Leisure members both in the supply of the pool system and in the provision of after sales service to clients on a national basis.


AQUAFLEX (Liner Specialists)
TEL. 01722 328873

CERTIKIN (General Pool Equipment Supplies)
TEL. 01993 777200

CRESTA LEISURE (Pool Design, Installation & Aftersales)
TEL. 01305 259253

HEATSTAR (Environmental Control)
TEL. 01983 521 465

NATIONAL LEISURE (UV & Service Support)
TEL. 01305 824610