Wessex Autistic Society, Portfield School, Dorset

A hydrotherapy pool in the grounds at Portfield School provides essential therapeutic benefits for pupils and the wider community.

Portfield School, the first school in the UK purpose-built for children with autism, saw hydrotherapy as an essential part of the educational and therapeutic facilities available to pupils.

An appeal was launched to fund an extension to accommodate such a pool in the school grounds. Officials visited several Pinelog projects which convinced them to place the order. Pinelog’s architects were able to minimise any planning risks by designing a linked building which replicate many of the school’s features in terms of style, height, roof pitch, materials, etc. As a result consent was obtained and the development progressed smoothly.

  • Constructed in timber frame with glulam beams and trusses
  • Vaulted style roof over pool hall
  • External brick facing and natural slate roof
  • Insulated 12m x 6m hydrotherapy pool with hoist, sensory bubble pool and viewing area
  • Soft play gallery
  • First floor overlooking pool for meeting/conference room
  • Pool operates at 33o C – air temperature of 34o C
  • Ultra-violet water treatment

What the client said

"We are delighted with the new pool which is also available for use out of school hours by children with autism and their families, many of whom do not take their children swimming because of the stresses associated with the experience. This facility therefore also offers a rare opportunity for family-wide leisure activity away from home."

Kevin Medcraft, Wessex Autistic Society’s Facilities and Procurement Manager