Shepard Swim School has finally outgrown the backyard pool, and with that, built a 6,000-square-foot state of the art facility in Elkhart.
The new facility hosts birthday parties on Saturdays and offers underwater photography shoots, water aerobics, family swims, and of course, swimming lessons to all ages.
The building project started in October and the building opened Aug. 20 for classes at an instructional pool designed for infants and children.
“We have a free class for babies up to six months,” owner Kari Shepard said. Aside from the free infant class, there are 19 instructional classes for children. The facility offers a recreational swim team for children after age 6, who can swim 40 feet of each competitive stroke, which involves in-house and optional swim meets. It also offers teen, adult and private lessons and water aerobics classes, and a family swim.
Because the facility caters to children, Shepard wants them to be comfortable in the water. The salt water pool is kept at 90 degrees, is 4 feet deep and is 30 feet by 40 feet. The pool also has the highest quality UV sanitation as an added feature.
The school is part of the United States Swim School Association and is one of only four schools in the state that hold the accreditation. “We are the only ones in the area that can teach our program,” she said.
Previously, the school had a seasonal program, but with the addition of the new facility, they can begin year-round schooling this season.
According to Shepard, year round swim seasons help students maintain swim skills better than seasonal counterparts. Children retain information better when taught throughout the year, as opposed to in short sessions. Since the school runs on an 18-week curriculum, that means students can progress through the classes at a faster rate than through seasonal schools and students can be promoted to a higher class at any time. According to Shepard, their accredited curriculum has a 99 percent success rate. Students and adults can register at any time throughout the year, as fees will be pro-rated.
Swim classes are offered at varying times Monday through Saturday and meet once a week for 30 minutes. Classes are small, with the ratio being four to one or six to one for parent-in-water class.
Classes are kept small, so children can have more one-on-one time with teachers. There are 12 part-time instructors.
“All of our instructors are trained in house for our curriculum,” Shepard said. Instructors are CPR certified and many are lifeguards as well.
The grand opening is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 8. The event is free and will include jumpers, face painting, kids karaoke and other exciting entertainment as well as a raffle to interest children at the event.
For more information, visit shepardswimschool.com or call at (574) 296-SWIM (7946). Shepard Swim School is located at 56199 Parkway Ave., Elkhart, off CR 17.