3/23/2011 10:27:00 AM Editorial Pool still not a wise decision in hard times
The Humboldt Unified School District has dodged the Aquatic Center bullet by handing the hot potato off to a committee, which it charged with the task of finding partners in the community to support the pool.
The concept of spending $8.3 million of bonds - approved by voters in November 2006 as part of a $41 million B Bond for new construction at all HUSD schools - on a swimming pool has generated much discussion. Some people favor the idea; some do not.
The original intent for the bond money was for renovations and upgrades to existing schools for the safety and well-being of students, the district said.
While the original projects have cost less than anticipated, the surplus that the school board wants to reallocate should not go toward a pool, which was not on the original list of improvements voters approved.
The district's administration and the school board face tough choices when considering the 2011-12 budget, which almost certainly will have less money to work with because of state cuts and fewer students.
That is why the board handed the question off; the appearance of supporting a pool that requires upkeep and maintenance to the tune of several teachers' salaries would be suicide.
Will the community support the pool? If the only backing the committee can demonstrate is a list of people who say they will buy a membership, then it will not fly. A pool requires money - to heat it and clean it, at a minimum - and someone to staff it, too.
Recently, the board gave the committee that is seeking partners more time to demonstrate support for the project. We say it is not going to happen. The pool remains a "nice to have." It has not risen to become a "must-have."
Keeping all of this in mind, since it is unclear if the community supports the pool and it was not on the list when voters first approved the bonds, do the logical thing: Put the measure up for a vote.
However, let's be clear: We still are not in favor of a pool in these economic times. With the proposal still alive and budgets in the red, the district does not smell like a rose, but the fertilizer people use to grow them.
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
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During the recent campaign for Prescott Valley town council, the HUSD pool question came up. I stated then it would be a nice addition but we, the citizens, can NOT afford a pool. Yes, I knew clearly the PV council had nothing to do, officially, with a pool being constructed by HUSD funds. Yet as a citizen in a town where my taxes can be raised by HUSD for maintainence of that pool I did speak up. " I was not, Am not, and will not be in favor of a pool at HUSD untill they have proven they have the extra funds to operate it without being a burdon on the citizens. That would mean outside sources to pay the expences, not the citizens. Too many folks have lost jobs, homes,cars, insurance, etc. to consider a pool at this time. If the school needs a pool for something try using an existing one. Prescott YMCA, Yavapai College, PV public pool all come to mind. Adapt and use existing resources. That bond money was never intended for a swimming pool. lets try showing the kids of today what hard work and planning can get them. Not how to get something at the expense of others.
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
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If this passes I hope everyone tied to it, involved in it and who voted for it "drowns" in it.
Shame on everyone.
Give the money back and go after M & O or technology - you know - things the schools really need.