Letter: A great district pool 

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As the city moves forward with its own pool, you may wonder where this leaves the school district project. 

For clarity, city recreation manages and operates all aquatics programs except high school teams. That means virtually everything, and everyone moves to the new city pool facility when it opens.

For the district, school board, high school athletes and coaches, this is great news! It means only the high school coaches and 79 aquatics athletes (in swimming and water polo) will remain at the district pool when it is completed. 

Athletes can use their own new pool 100% of the time and current scheduling issues are eliminated. 

Coaches can spend more quality time with athletes, as practices can start and end whenever they work and even be extended.  

This gives student-athletes a better overall experience and creates the best competitive opportunity for success, as training can be focused and uninterrupted. 

The high school pool can now be designed specifically for competition (deep throughout) and large enough to exceed all California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) requirements, but not be so massive as to be wasteful and empty most of the time. 

A 35-meter competition pool fits the space, is still very large, and is commonly found in high schools with top aquatics programs in California. Aquatics experts have also publicly stated that pools of this size are the trend and are more commonly built now than mega pools. 

In this scenario, existing buildings could be upgraded and enhanced vs torn down and rebuilt. This would save the school district and taxpayers a projected $8 million in building and $20 million in lifetime costs! 

Beyond saving millions, such a pool also saves millions of gallons of water annually and wouldn’t cost the quarter of a million dollars the mega pool requires (without people) just to operate.  

When you consider only 26 student athletes on average (79 over three seasons) will be in any pool during any single season of competition, this option more than supports all usage needs.  

A 35-meter pool is the best option for student-athletes, coaches, taxpayers and the district. 

As the school district and board revisit pool planning at the high school without all of the city programs, it isn’t too late to do something more sensible for all. 

Let’s hope those who have been aggressively pushing for the mega pool will now downsize it appropriately to fit the reality of a second city-owned pool.

Steve Brown, Laguna Beach  

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