PLANS to refurbish a Basingstoke secondary school’s swimming pool have been approved.

Jane Aplin, headteacher of Cranbourne school on Wessex Close, said she was “absolutely delighted” that the green light had been given to the project, which she has been working on since she took the reigns four years ago.

The facility, which lies at the heart of the community and plays host to not only secondary school pupils but primary school swimming lessons and other groups such as mum and baby groups, has been in need of repair for many years.

The roof and structure is around 45 years old and provides little insulation, with the water from the pool warming the air and costing the school in energy bills in the process.

But after reaching out to German architect Jeurgen Koch, he was able to design a refurnished sports centre that will be made from a sustainable timber frame and complemented by a contemporary glass structure.

Additionally, a new waiting area will be constructed and outdoor seating area installed for parents to wait whilst their children are using the pool.

The dilapidated changing rooms are also set to get a face lift.

“I am absolutely delighted,” Mrs Aplin told the Gazette.

“I can’t tell you how important it is for the school and the community.

“Not many people have chance to be a headteacher and it is great to do something that is a proper favour for the community as well as the school.”

The project is expected to cost at least £1 million, with Mrs Aplin preparing bids to the borough council and National Lottery to help.

“I would like to secure the funding and do the building work over the summer [of 2021] so that we have go it. I would like the swimming pool to be open next September, but I need to take advice as to whether that is realistic.”

And two of those benefitting from the upgrades will be students Matthew and Sam, both of who teach primary school children how to swim and use the facility to train for triathlons.

Matthew said: "We are very fortunate to have a pool.

"It is not everyday that you see a school with a swimming pool.

"It is a very important life skill that you have to learn."

Sam added: "In the winter we use it as a normal pool, in the summer we use it as training."