STUDENTS are jumping in for joy after their school pool finally re-opened.
For a year, the swimming pool at Monkwearmouth School was forced to close for extensive refurbishment work to be carried out.
Now, a virtually brand new pool, is up and running and the pupils can get back into the swim of things.
The pool at the Torvor Crescent school will again be welcoming groups of children from feeder primaries and community groups back in for a splash about.
Hazel Davison, business manager at the school, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, said the pool is a vital resource for the area and everyone is delighted with the new facility.
She said: “We are a school which is near the sea, so it is vitally important for all our pupils to be taught to swim.
“Every child who starts at the school gets swimming lessons. We have our own swimming instructor, Liz Graham, who has taught the pupils since 1977.”
She added: “Originally we were going to just refurbish the pool, but when we started we realised the huge amount of work that was needed.
“We needed to replace the whole infiltration system, but it was under the pool, so the whole thing had to be dug out.”
She said Sunderland City Council helped with the cost of the work, and the roof in the pool area was also replaced.
The business manager said: “Everyone is over the moon with the new facility and we are keen to get our community groups back in as soon as possible.”
Former pupil and Sunderland Echo Young Sports Personality of the Year nominee, successful swimmer Alex Robinson, was invited along to officially launch the new pool.
Mrs Davison said: “Alex started swimming with us when she was nine and Liz taught her.
“She has gone on to win a phenomenal amount of medals and trophies and we are very proud of her achievements.
“We thought it was fitting that one of our ex-pupils should open the pool.”
The new pool adds to the investment at the school in other sporting facilities including a newly refurbished gymnasium and large multi-purpose sports hall.