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home : latest news : local August 27, 2015

1/5/2011 3:33:00 PM
Many unknowns could still sink Aquatic Center
The HUSD B-Bond steering committee aquatic center sub-committee meets Tuesday afternoon to discuss instructions to the committee about letters of intent for use of the aquatic center and to identify partners for the aquatic center, as well as develop a plan of action.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
The HUSD B-Bond steering committee aquatic center sub-committee meets Tuesday afternoon to discuss instructions to the committee about letters of intent for use of the aquatic center and to identify partners for the aquatic center, as well as develop a plan of action.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg

Sue Tone

The lack of a quorum to vote them in as members did not dampen the spirits of eight people interested in serving on the Bradshaw Mountain High School Aquatic Center subcommittee Tuesday afternoon.

The Humboldt Unified School District B Bond Steering Review Committee, which would oversee the subcommittee, did not have enough members present to vote. All eight candidates, however, expressed a desire to dive right in and solicit the aid of community members, clubs and businesses to make the center a reality.

A lack of information continues to hinder the process, however.

What is known is that the district has $3.9 million left of its $41 million B Bond that voters approved in November 2006; and the estimated cost of building the center, which includes a competition pool and a separate therapy pool, is $3.5 million. The district estimated its maintenance and operation costs to be about $300,000 annually.

What isn't known is how the district will generate enough money to cover maintenance and operations costs, nor what percentage of those costs will come from community use or what the district will budget for its own classes and activities.

Bill Riviere, board president of the Prescott Pirates club swim team, said the subcommittee will meet with the public to generate support for the aquatic center.

"We're going to take a look at what will it cost? How much money do we need? Where will the money come from - memberships, donations, partnerships? What is the fee structure? The public will have lots of questions," he said.

So, apparently, do the subcommittee candidates. Marty Bowles, physical education and math teacher at Glassford Hill Middle School, said she is interested in serving on the subcommittee, but would have a hard time asking for money unless she knew the district could operate and maintain the center.

The district is considering merging its two middle schools to save money, she said, "but I won't sacrifice combining the middle schools for an aquatic center."

Keith Fisher, president of Liberty Traditional School's Parent-Teacher Organization, said he was originally against the center.

"I realized that this community needs more than baseball, football and occasionally soccer. I need to see the numbers and make them work," he said.

The original plans for the competition pool as designed by DLR Group had a depth of 6 feet at both ends, sloping to 6 feet, 6 inches in the center.

"For community use, the pool must have a portion to accommodate families with small children," said Bob Booth, executive vice president for N.L. Booth & Son, general contractors for the B Bond projects. He brought a new schematic to the meeting showing a suggested change that kept the ends of the pool at 6 feet, sloping to 4 feet in the center and keeping it in compliance with code.

This brought up concerns about using the pool for synchronized swimming and water polo activities.

A district survey of 18 possible customers elicited some interest, but only two potential partners offered an idea of how much they could pay.

Riviere said the Prescott Pirates Swim Team could use the pool an estimated 500 hours per year at a cost of $375 per month. Prescott Valley Samaritan said it might have eight members who would pay $25 per month to use the pool two hours per week.

Tri-City Prep, Orme School, and Yavapai County High School indicated an interest, but no commitment. Mayer High School has no swim team, and Prescott College has no transportation, the survey showed.

Ken Johnson, B Bond project manager, said labor costs will run about $115,220 per year, including lifeguards, custodian, manager and director. Equipment and operating costs will run another $81,000. HUSD Superintendent Paul Stanton estimated insurance coverage at about $7,000 per year.

Dawn Neveau, Bradshaw Mountain High librarian and subcommittee applicant, acknowledged that she finds it hard to think about an aquatic center in the current economy and when the district has other needs. The meeting took place in the BMHS library, which is without heat.

The B Bond Steering Review Committee will convene again in about a week to vote on accepting the eight as subcommittee members, chairwoman Kym Lopez said

Related Stories:
• Partners could ease fears about aquatic center
• HUSD will form new aquatic center committee
• Humboldt Unified's aquatic center effort still alive
• Aquatic center back on HUSD board agenda

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