1. Filling in the pool would be a colossal waste of an asset
Hear that Lifeguard whistle! Stop running away from the challenge. The Gilroy City Council and the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Trustees have to sit down and figure out a plan to save the pool at South Valley Middle School. Period.
It’s the only swimming facility on Gilroy’s east side. That does matter. And if the Council and School Board don’t hammer out an agreement to keep it afloat, the facility will be lost and gone forever. Down the road, building a new pool will be exponentially more expensive.
Filling in the pool would be a colossal waste and, frankly, a monument to the inability of our locally elected leaders to solve problems.
2. Having a swimming facility on the east side of town matters
One astute reader made this comment on the story posted on our website, and we couldn’t agree more: “TERRIBLE decision. This is so frustrating to not think of the side of town that needs local access to a pool. The students will suffer from this decision, and many will not learn how to swim. By not working together, you have decided a terrible fate for the East side of town. I am disappointed in Gilroy.”
At this point, the school district is truly bruised and battered with waves of budget cuts. About $18 million has been stripped from GUSD’s budget over a four-year period. It’s understandable that trustees can’t, in good conscience, spend money on the pool when they are looking at potentially cutting weeks from the school schedule next year.
3. It’s somewhat ironic that the city built the pool in the 1950s
The city, ironically, built the swimming pool in the 1950s on what then were the grounds of Gilroy High School. They signed a 50-year joint operating agreement, divvying up the expenses. It would be nice if that could continue, but reality dictates a different course. The City of Gilroy should take over the pool – at least for the next few years, pay for the repairs and maintenance and run or contract out to the YMCA the various community swimming programs at the pool.
Meanwhile, perhaps the school district and the city can work on getting a grant from the Foundation for Youth Investment which is dedicated to outdoor programs for youth. Jessica Partch is the Director of Development and she can be reached at (650) 344-9072 or www.fyifoundation.org.
Don’t let the pool go under. Don’t waste a community asset. Don’t ignore the east side residents. Don’t think short term. Save the South Valley swimming pool.