The original plans for Dinnington High School were for two new gymnasiums (or gymnasia, if you want to be cocky). But there was substancial local demand for a Swimming Pool to serve the Dinnington / Kiveton area. The LEA allowed the school to change the plans but on the proviso that the c. £13,000 cost of a pool be absorbed into the original budget.
As it was, the three-stage construction plan that was to have incorporated the pool was abandoned after the first phase, with the embryonic Wales High School diverting the attention of the LEA and leaving DHS with a classroom shortage.
The Swimming Pool finally came back on the agenda in 1969, but took much wrangling and fundraising before the Pool was final opened. The first obstacle was funding, and among the fundraising attempts was "a hundred mile sponsored walk by approximately twelve 6th formers". The fundraising wasn't limited to DHS. Peter Scott writes: "I remember fundraising for the pool when at Primary School." At the end of 1969, Kiveton Park Rural District Council offered £10,000 for the pool on the proviso that it could be used by the public, and they later upped this figure to £15,000.
The pool was set to open in September 1971, and the army were brought in to do the excavations. After a few delays through changes to the design of the pool, work began in July 1971, and was up and running in 1972.
After a couple of years, the school decided it'd like the pool to itself, rather than having to work around public opening hours. The public who'd paid for the thing naturally kicked up a bit of a fuss. A four year dispute came to a head in 1978, when Rotherham Council threatened to pull the plug on the £30,000 per year running costs, and ceased building work on new changing rooms. The school had no choice but to allow the public in.
Up until the early '90s, the pool continued to be used by the PE department for the swimming module. But a change in circumstances (something like the school having to pay to use the facilities, at a guess) led to swimming being axed from the PE syllabus. This effectively divorced the pool from DCS, and we the pupils were warned away from the filty lures of its warm drinks machine and its cups of soup (Osborne bar sold other hot drinks if I recall correctly, but this was the only place on campus for soup).
The pool is no longer used by the PE department, and is being shut down totally, with the Astroturf pitch being built as a consolation for the school and the local community. The pool building is in a terrible state of repair and can't be long for this earth.
For a period in the '90s, Mr Harkin became obsessed with the possibility that a pupil running from the Sports Hall to the New Gym might be attacked by a vat of chlorine escaping from the doors on the west side of the pool. He insisted that pupils go the long way round.