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Indy charter school needs community’s help to rehab Olympic-sized pool

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A charter school on the city’s east side has big plans to connect the community and teach students how to swim but they need help from the community.

A former IPS school building, the HIM By HER Collegiate School for the Arts, opened in August 2020 on the city’s east side.

Inside the HIM By HER Collegiate School for the Arts, you’ll find an indoor Olympic-sized swimming pool under rehab construction. It hasn’t been operable since the late 1990s.

“Where there’s water, there’s life, right? We believe it’s very important to have people get engaged in an indoor pool not only during school, but also after school,” said Harry Dunn, president and CEO of the HIM By HER Foundation and Collegiate School for the Arts.

They’ve got big plans for the pool, including teaching first responders, like police officers, how to swim.

“I personally had a meeting with [former] Chief [Rick] Hite with IMPD. He said he wanted to lead the state and lead the nation in first responders responding to water-critical issues. He wants to make sure that all of his officers know how to swim,” Dunn said.

They have plans to offer swimming classes for young adults and adults and to also teach children living with autism how to swim.

“These are very serious issues that parents are extremely passionate about and should be,” Dunn said.

State Rep. John Bartlett chairs the school board.

“It’s the most blighted community in the state of Indiana, and we want to lift up this community, be a part of this community and provide complete wrap-around services in this community,” Bartlett said.

About the school, Dunn explained

“I believe it is extremely important for people to understand that HIM By HER stands for Helping Improve Mankind By Healing Every Race. It’s an all-inclusive school.” 

They have a goal to raise $1 million to get the pool back up and running.

Dunn told News 8 that more than 20 local and national partners, including the Indy Aquatic Alliance and USA Swimming are part of the project.

But they also need your help.

“Having the pool open is going to have a tremendous impact on our students and our community, along with their families. The reason being, our students in the 46218 zip code, there is not a pool. A lot of times, our students are left out of things” said Principal Sondra Towne.

Dunn and other school officials want to inspire students and the community.

“We want people in this community to understand they can come right out of Indianapolis, right out of 46218 and end up on the Olympic stage. I believe it. We’re going to preach it, we’re going to coach it right out of this building,” Dunn said

Dunn and Bartlett said they expect the work on this pool to be finished by May 2022. Once that happens, this pool will be open to the public.

Enrollment at the school is now open.

The school is also accepting donations.

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