Cape May School, Community Get All-Important Pool Back

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CAPE MAY, N.J. -

When Cape May City Elementary School was built back in the 1960s, a pool was installed to help teach students who grow up by the ocean how to swim. 

“We educate the children of the Coast Guard families," said Victoria Zelenak, superintendent of Cape May City School District.  

"The Coast Guard is based in Cape May. So, the children who learn how to swim here go to all different bases and they’re usually close to water. It’s important for them to know how to swim.” 

But back in 2014 the pool had to be shut down. 

“When we examined it we found out that all the pipes had rotted and that we really needed to replace those," said Zelenak. "But, then the decision was made to replace the whole pool.” 

Related: 'Stealth Learning' Comes to Middle Township School District

Fast forward to today and they’re preparing to open the new and improved pool filled with more than 87,000 gallons of water. 

“The city jumped in to help us finance it," said Zelenak. "The school and the city are partnering in this pool. It will be for the children, but it will also be for adults." 

During the school day, kids will be using it to learn how to swim. 

“We use the Red Cross swimming instructional curriculum," said Zelenak. "So, we have to have a swimming instructor certified — who’s our physical education teacher — and we have to have a lifeguard in addition to him.”  

And other times it will be used for fun sessions open to the entire community. 

“It’s really been a loss over those four years and the senior citizens absolutely love it," said Zelenak. "It’s very therapeutic for them.” 

A new locker room set up includes brand new lockers, five showers, which includes a handicapped area, and a changing table all located right off of the pool area. 

“It’s not just a concrete hole filled with 87,000 gallons of water," said Zelenak. "I feel it had heart and soul. It means so much to all of us because it’s for our health, fitness and learning to swim. And we have fun.” 

A grand opening celebration will be held at Cape May City Elementary School on Thursday, October 12th, at 4 p.m. 

People in the area and students can officially dive into the new pool starting in mid-October.


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