NOW OPEN FOR SWIMMING LESSONS - May 20, 2013: Portable Swimming Pool Program First of its Kind in South Carolina, Right Here in Charleston County
Charleston County has the very first portable-pool program of its kind in the state of South Carolina.
Portable pool programs have been around since 1970... in California. But South Carolina recently just got its very first portable pool program, right here in Charleston County. These pool programs are designed to help under-privileged children learn how to swim who otherwise cannot gain access to a swimming pool and instructors. According to the CDC, drowning statistics are exceptionally high for elementary age African-American children, especially in the Southeastern part of the United States.
The owner of this portable swimming pool is Charleston County Parks and Recreation Department. They have teamed up with Charleston County School District to provide much needed access to swimming lessons and a pool within the rural areas of Charleston County. Residents living in these rural communities do not have access to a public swimming pool because they don't exist, which makes swimming lessons even more impossible.
Which is why Community Services of Edisto, a small South Carolina not for profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, is addressing these unmet needs. This program will service a population of low-income elementary age school students from the rural areas of Charleston Country who have no access to public swimming pools. As of May 20, 2013 the portable swimming pool has been commissioned and is making its way to selected schools throughout the Charleston County School District. The first stop?... Jane Edwards Elementary on Edisto Island.
How is this program possible?
Board of Directors, Steve Austin had sought after partners and contributors to help make this a reality... and a reality it has become. Elementary children are now being taught the rules of water safety and learning how to swim. A lesson that could very well save their life one day.
All partners involved have given their time, energy and resources Pro Bono to help make this program a reality. These partners are local and include Steve Austin, board member of Community Services of Edisto, Aqua Blue Pools of Charleston, South Carolina and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Department. Steve initiated the Portable Swimming Pool Program and also coordinated the team who manufactured the pool to meet DHEC specifications. Steve donated the system to Charleston County Parks and Recreation Department (CCPRC) and he was responsible for its first initial setup at Jane Edwards Elementary School, which occured Monday, May 20, 2013.
Charleston County Parks and Recreation is the owner and operator of the portable pool and they began offering swimming lessons to elementary school children this past at Jane Edwards Elementary. CCPRC will then continue to Hollywood and at least one other site during the 2013 pool season. There are currently plans to expand the program in 2014.
Lowcountry Aquatic Project Swimming (LAPS) - Rutledge Foundation are providing swimming instructor training.
Charleston County School District is providing site locations and operational support.
Aqua Blue Pools of Charleston, Inc., a South Carolina licensed swimming pool contractor is the contractor of record for this project. They provided design assistance, prepared documents and submitted the application to DHEC for construction and operation. Additionally, they designed and installed the pool's operational equipment.
Design and Construction Details
The dimensions of the pool are 24 ft length x 16ft width and 3ft deep and holds approximately 7200 gallons of water.
The construction consists of a stuctural steel frame that is bolted together, plywood sides, vinyl liner, end-mounted kick bars, a pump and filter, and formed structural metal panel lockable safety/security cover.
Ancillary equipment consists of a life guard platform/chair, entrance ladder, open shower, foot bath, walkway mats.
Set up assembly and breakdown is required at each location where the swimming lessons are held. Set up and breakdown requires a crew of five and they fill the portable pool with water and have it ready for lessons in a time-frame of 4-5 hours. Since all individual components weigh less than 200 lbs. each, no material handling equipment is required for assembly/takedown.
Operations use a five-person crew. One on the life guard station, three in the water and one directing participant traffic. This crew has a capacity of 100-200 lessons per day (9:00-4:00). This crew also is responsible for set-up and take-down on a two to four week stay per site schedule. Transporting the portable pool is done by others.
How can you help?
CSE (Community Services of Edisto) is a small volunteer-based 501c3 organization and appreciates your tax deductible donation to the children's swimming program.
To make a donation, contact Aqua Blue Pools at 843-767-7665. Someone there will assist in getting you to the right person who can take your donations.
The Lowcountry's ONLY Master Pools Builder