The Sweetwater Unified High School District can be heroes by building a 50 meter pool at Eastlake High School. Imagine the legacy the superintendent and board would leave behind if they were to initiate and approve a pool be built on Eastlake’s campus.
They would provide pool access to all 3,200 students for P.E., water safety, water fitness, and water sports. Imagine if the district paid for the $8 million pool out of the $40 million dollars in mello roos (CFD 1) fund. The district would still have $32 million left over for other worthwhile projects. The formation documents for CFD 1 say the fund is line-itemed for capital improvements at Eastlake High School and Eastlake Middle School, so the pool construction would not have to come out of general funds.How awesome would it be for the community to see their $900 to $3,400+/ annual mello roos taxes go towards something like a pool at the school where their kids attend? The community wants the funds to be used to enhance the school: building a pool is a great way for the district to demonstrate their commitment to stakeholders.
Imagine all students and families having access to water sports, not just those who have the resources to make the 40 minute commute to an offsite pool, five days a week, for a 2.5 hour nightly practice. Imagine taking actionable steps towards equity for all students when it comes to a pool and all of its benefits. Imagine knowing that drowning is the second leading cause of death of children ages 0-14, and that the pool and access to water safety may help save lives for generations to come. Imagine knowing the jobs you would create. Imagine knowing that the district could actually make money on having a pool in-house. The district is currently paying Southwestern College $120,000/ year to rent the pool 4 hours a day, 5 days a week when operating expenses for a 50 meter pool are $150,000/ year. Swim and water polo clubs are willing to sign contracts now to rent pool time for additional revenue streams for the district. Other high school swim and water polo teams in the district could get more pool time for less money.
Imagine converting the little used blacktop area at Eastlake High School to a highest and best use space that all 3,200 students can use. Imagine the feeling of knowing that the 14,000 SF for a 50 meter pool is probably the best SF/ student ratio of all the sport fields, especially when you compare it to a 120,000 SF baseball field that our awesome 53 baseball athletes use. Over 200 athletes play water polo and/or are on swim team, that’s more than any other sport at Eastlake.
Imagine knowing you did the right thing and decades later people will thank you. Former students who might not have had the opportunity to get familiar with the water and all of its lifelong benefits, especially in a coastal city and climate like Chula Vista where one can go in the pool and ocean year round- are now water safe. Imagine knowing that you had the power to say yes to get a pool built on campus. The community has been wanting a pool at Eastlake High School for decades, imagine being the ones who were the heroes to make it happen.
Ginny Scheitt resides in Chula Vista.