Letter: Have your voice heard on community pool project

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A community pool is on the agenda of the March 12 City Council meeting. While much discussion has been ongoing about the need to update the current 25meter high school pool, the school district has done its best to circumvent the city from influencing this project.

In December of last year, the school board approved a plan for a $16 million, 50-meter pool at the site of the existing pool without city input. They expect the city to continue to fund 90% of the pool operating costs—with your tax dollars—costs that will dramatically increase with doubling the size of the pool.

While an upgrade of 35 to 38 meters may make sense, 50 meters in this space is overkill. Proximity to neighbors is closer than any other OC school pool. Noise will clearly be an issue. Parking is limited. Taxpayers need to have a say in what investment and operating budget is appropriate. 

Other options – including a second community pool – deserve thorough and transparent study – before the school district green lights this out-of-scale project.

Some other big-picture concerns include the “need” for this larger facility when LBUSD enrollment is projected to continue declining for the foreseeable future. The “need” for such a large facility when our high school is a small fraction of the size of any other school in OC with a pool of this scale. LBUSD is pushing this project through while being able to bypass design review and community concerns.

We currently have an out-of-control school board with plans to spend over $100 million of your tax dollars on this oversized pool, new high school administration building, new school district building and many other “upgrades” for the shrinking school population. All to be accomplished with bonds funded by you.

We all want state-of-the-art educational facilities for our students, but this must be accomplished with fiscal responsibility, consideration for neighbors, and harmony with the needs of the greater community.

I would urge all to attend the March 12 council meeting and let your voices be heard.

Richard Plavetich, Laguna Beach

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