LBUSD should consider tax payers

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At the March 14 Laguna Beach School Board meeting, over $2 million in contracts for design and planning to demolish and rebuild the existing high school pool were approved by a 4-1 vote. While those contracts specified a 50-meter pool, the board president stated that the size of the pool should be part of design considerations that would return to the board for approval.

Because nothing in those contracts calls for an evaluation of pool size, the board should formally add an agenda item that calls for reconsideration of pool size now that city plans are clear. In two subsequent school board meetings, there was no discussion or agenda items regarding the active work on the pool.

As a reminder, the school board previously approved a 50-meter pool to be shoehorned into the existing site at a cost now exceeding $19 million. This decision was made PRIOR to the city’s decision to construct a separate pool that will address 75% of the current demand on the pool. That leaves less than 80 student-athletes to be supported at the dedicated school pool. Options exist for a modern, competitive, moderate sized pool that meet all high school needs and can save taxpayers over $10 million.

Obviously, spending for an oversized pool needs to be revised in light of the city’s decision. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if that is the intent, given that the school board made no announcement. As every resident is being taxed for this pool’s construction and operation, we should insist the board consider lower-cost options.

Gary Kasik, Laguna Beach

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