Swim Pool Task Force completes report


The Swim Pool Task Force met for the final time Tuesday night at the Moffat County School District administrative building.

The task force, which has met nearly every two weeks since September, had gathered to put the finishing touches on its conclusive report on the Moffat County High School swimming pool.

The report will be presented to the Moffat County School Board at 6 p.m. Monday.

The changes were few and the community response to the report was minimal.

“This could be one of our shortest meetings ever,” district superintendent Joe Petrone said.

The completed report spells out four options for the 30-year-old pool: expand, maintain, reduce or close. The report also provides estimates for capital costs associated with each option.

The closure option was added to the report at the behest of the board, Petrone said.

“That was something that came out of the January board retreat,” he said. “And, we thought it was important to explain that there are costs — beyond the loss of programs — associated with closure.”

According to the report, there are two sub-options for closure.

The first sub-option is to close the pool and assign a different use to the space. The project involves removing the pool liner and aluminum structure, and filling the hole with 160,000 gallons of concrete slurry.

The estimated total for that option is $120,000 in capital expenses.

The second option is to close down the pool and abandon the space. However, the space would still need to be heated to protect adjacent plumbing.

The estimated total for that option is $15,000, according to the report.

The report also details capital expenses for expanding the pool’s operating hours to a year-round community facility. The capital costs for that option — which includes extending the pool’s life another 15 to 20 years, plus the addition of visitor accommodations — is an estimated $1.2 million.

To maintain the pool’s current student-centered use, but extend the life of the pool another 15 to 20 years would cost an estimated $450,000, according to the report.

The report also includes capital expenses described as “minimum needs” over the next two years. Those expenses are an estimated $250,000.

The report also describes yearly expenses associated with the options to expand, maintain or reduce operations.

To expand the pool’s operation to a year-round program with 40 hours per week of community access is an estimated $131,600 per year.

To maintain the pool’s current usage is an estimated $70,000 per year.

To reduce the pool’s usage to a three-month window, during which elementary school students could participate in the district’s Learn-to-Swim Program, is an estimated $24,250.

Tony St. John, a member of the task force and the school board, said he believes his fellow board members will carefully consider the report, particularly the importance of the Learn-to-Swim Program.

“All I can say is the board will be receptive to all the comments,” he said. “I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I believe we’ll figure out something to keep that pool going. That’s my feeling.”

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wellwell 6 years, 1 month ago

If everyone dives in to help keep the efforts of the Pool Task Force afloat we could get this effort to be our community effort. The pool has created a lot of kids that grow to adults with an understanding of water safety, swimming, and a broadened recreation possibilities. The pool has allowed the creation of swimming athletes, provided new family recreation, and a lot of fun. It does have issues that need correction. To do anything at this time of the poor economy calls for every effort to be put forth from every person to seek funding needed. Yes big money is needed, but donations of any amount is what could bring it thru.


Jon Pfeifer 6 years, 1 month ago

As someone with small kids, the high school pool is not something that interests me very much. It does seem that we have an excellent swimming program, however, and obviously the pool is necessary for that to continue. $240,000 to operate for two years (plus the $70,000 in operating costs) seems like a lot of money when core services (i.e. teaching) are being cut. If they decide to continue operating the pool, they might as well add in the extra money to make the pool viable for the next 15-20 years.

On another note, I would love to have a year round pool that my kids could enjoy. Right now, we typically travel to Meeker to use the rec center there. I wonder how practical it would be to enclose and heat the city park pool. I wonder if the plan to expand would include some sort of accommodation for small children. Probably just wishful thinking considering budgets right now.


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