Goldfish To Build Swim School In Rochester Area

Monday, April 11, 2011

Founder says area was chosen because of its family friendly atmosphere.

Children of Rochester will soon have a new place to splash, float and swim.

Goldfish Swim School, which has attracted hundreds of Rochester families since opening in Birmingham five years ago, will build a facility in the Rochester area this year, founder Chris McCuiston said this week.

McCuiston said the school is considering two locations: one on South Street in Rochester and the other at the corner of Tienken and Rochester roads in Rochester Hills.

"We chose Rochester because the demographics there resemble the demographics of the Birmingham area," McCuiston said. "It's very family friendly. We love that they have their own small town. They value family and the enrichment activities of children." Goldfish will hire 15-20 people to start, but will ultimately employ 45 for the Rochester location. Most of those hired will be swim instructors.

McCuiston expects the school to open for instruction between fall 2011 and January 2012.

Goldfish is known for its small classes (student teacher ratio is 4-to-1), warm water pools and fun environment. In Birmingham, it teaches more than 2,000 students a week. It offers parent-child classes starting at 4 months and toddler classes beginning at age 3. Classes are $78 a month, which pays for one class per week.

"Goldfish is only about swim and it's only about kids," said McCuiston, who opened the school with his wife, Jenny, in 2006. Jenny McCuiston was a champion swimmer in high school and college and qualified for two Olympic trials.

Goldfish has a second location in Farmington Hills and is building a school in Ann Arbor. A fifth school is planned for Macomb in 2012.

Anna Mentier of Rochester Hills is excited about the swim school coming to town.

"That place is adorable � it's so cute and inviting, especially for kids who are afraid of the water or who don't like to swim," said Mentier, whose 5-year-old daughter, Malana, began taking classes at the Birmingham school in the fall.

"Malana loves it. She's learned more there in two to three months than she has ever learned before. I can't swim and watching her learn so fast is amazing to me.

"I hate the drive," she said. "I can't wait for it to come here."

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