Officials celebrate opening of Goldfish Swim School at the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale

Goldfish swimming
Photo courtesy of Robert Holden via Twitter

Community leaders gathered at the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale on Nov. 2 to celebrate the opening of the new Goldfish Swim School. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in partnership with the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

Among the community leaders in attendance at the ribbon-cutting were Councilman Robert Holden, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Grech and Atlas Park Property Manager Peter DeLucia.

(From l. to r.) Senator Joseph Addabbo, Queens Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Grech, Goldfish Swim School General Manager Rafael Gonzalez, Councilman Robert Holden and Atlas Park Property Manager Peter DeLucia (Photo by Ethan Marshall)

Year-round indoor instructions are provided to kids from 4 months old to age 12. Among the swim school’s features are shiver-free 90-degree pools, a state-of-the-art water purification system, an air-conditioned viewing gallery for parents to watch lessons, private changing rooms, a blow-drying station, a snack bar, a retail shop, tropical decor and highly trained instructors. Additionally, small class sizes — which will be no bigger than a student to teacher ratio of four to one — allows for closer hands-on instructions.

“As a parent of two children, I understand how important water safety is to families and we are thrilled to bring the Goldfish curriculum, high-quality instruction and state-of-the-art facility to families in this community,” owner Randall Barba said. “Our team wants to ensure that children have a safe, fun and friendly place to learn this lifesaving skill.”
Goldfish Swim School’s mascot, Bubbles (Photo by Ethan Marshall)

Goldfish Swim School General Manager Rafael Gonzalez is optimistic that this new Atlas Park business will become a staple of the community. He believes that the school’s mascot, Bubbles, can certainly help with that by attracting and entertaining these children. He also pointed out that this new business is creating jobs for the community. There are already 35 employees there and Gonzalez said they plan to hire more people, with the hope of bringing that number up to 50.

(Photo by Ethan Marshall)

“We’re very prideful that we get to be here,” Gonzalez said. “We’re very happy to fill a need in the community. Hopefully we will continue working with the community through outreach and helping kids have fun in the water.”

Grech emphasized the importance of bringing jobs to Queens whenever the Queens Chamber of Commerce considers businesses. According to Grech, bringing in a business like this after the COVID-19 pandemic is important since it provides both jobs and valuable services to the community.

Holden felt that the services being offered by this new small business can prove to be life-changing. He mentioned the importance of kids learning how to swim as soon as possible in order to better ensure their safety. Holden felt other community councils should consider having businesses that offer lifesaving skills open up in their districts, too.

“Up in Albany, we have about three pieces of legislation that talk about work safety in terms of saving a life,” Addabbo said. “Somebody could drown in just three inches of water. Just as we look at water safety here, you can also be responsible for saving a life.”

According to DeLucia, Goldfish Swim School was actually supposed to open in Atlas Park much sooner. He gave them the keys back in March of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic began shortly after that, delaying the opening.

Goldfish Swim School offers a variety of programs, from jump start clinics to a competitive swim team. Families can enroll for the school’s perpetual lessons at any time. Convenient scheduling options are offered and makeup classes can easily be made if necessary.

Families can register for swim lessons by visiting goldfishswimschool.com/glendale or by calling 929-294-7489.