By Jessica Meditz
Goldfish Swim School commemorated the recent grand opening of its Glendale location inside The Shops at Atlas Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 2.
Staff members, community supporters, local elected officials and even their mascot, Bubbles, joined in on the celebration of the neighborhood’s new addition. The Glendale location marks the third Goldfish Swim School in Queens, with the others located in Astoria and Flushing.
Dedicated to teaching children between the ages of four months and 12 years of age the life-saving skill of swimming, Goldfish Swim School strives to do so in a fun, friendly and safe environment.
Parents in the community have expressed their need for a local swim school for years, according to Rafael Gonzalez, the location’s general manager.
“We’re very prideful that we’re physically here, to help with the mall and to service the community,” he said. “We’re very happy to fill the need of the community, and hope to continue working with community outreach, our local partners here, and have fun in the water.”
Gonzalez added that Goldfish Swim School operates on a proprietary corporate swim structure, meaning that all swim instructors are taught how to properly teach their swim curriculum.
The team focuses on teaching the Science of SwimPlay®, which involves interactive swim lessons encouraging education and skill-building in a play-based environment.
They offer swim education to children of all experience levels, from parent and child classes to Swim Force, which Gonzalez described as a “mock interpretation of a swim team” for their most advanced swimmers.
Held in partnership with the Queens Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO Tom Grech emphasized that the addition of a new business in the borough expands job opportunities for residents and further meets the needs of the community.
Goldfish Swim School currently has 35 employees and seeks to expand to 50.
Atlas Park General Manager Peter DeLucia congratulated them on their opening and noted that Goldfish went through a difficult process before opening on Oct. 6, citing DOB-related issues, construction delays and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a great team here,” DeLucia said. “I’ve been very impressed with their operations; they’re great partners.”
According to the CDC, more children ages one to four die from drowning than any other cause of death in the U.S.
New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilman Robert Holden both stressed the importance of water safety for young children, and thanked Goldfish Swim School for the valuable services and skills they provide to the district.
“Up in Albany, we have about three pieces of legislation that talk about water safety in terms of saving a life,” Addabbo said. “Somebody could drown in just three inches of water. We’re all about fun, but just as we look at water safety here, you can also be responsible for saving a life.”
Gonzalez said that the swim school sees between 300 and 350 children within a given day, and that enrollment is up to 1,840 memberships, with anticipation to hit 2,000 in the coming weeks.
The facility offers an indoor swimming pool heated year-round, a state-of-the-art water purification system, a viewing area for parents, modern training equipment and tools, a private space for parties and events, an in-house snack bar and shop and a hair drying station, swimsuit dryers and private changing rooms.
Goldfish Swim School’s Atlas Park location is open from 3:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It is located where The Fair used to be, across from HomeGoods and to the left of Ulta Beauty.
Parents can visit their website or call 929-294-7489 to register their young one for classes.