TUSD eyes city’s share of West pool
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Aug 14, 2014 | 2871 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Adamary Lopez paddles her kayak as instructor T.J. Balogh follows alongside her during a YMCA swim class boating safety lesson at Pinkie Phillips Aquatics Center on Friday.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Adamary Lopez paddles her kayak as instructor T.J. Balogh follows alongside her during a YMCA swim class boating safety lesson at Pinkie Phillips Aquatics Center on Friday. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Preliminary plans were revealed for future school projects funded through three school bonds, Measures E, S and B, during the Tracy Unified School District board meeting on Tuesday.

The first of the three passed by the voters was Measure E, a $51 million bond measure approved in 2006 to make improvements to Tracy and West high schools. It was followed in 2008 by Measure S, for $43.1 million to improve district elementary and middle schools, and most recently by Measure B, for $82 million, passed by voters in June’s primary election.

Bonny Carter, the director of facilities and planning, told trustees that the Measure E projects completed during the summer included improvements to the Tracy High School agriculture building and the Emma Baumgardner Theater at Tracy High.

With a Measure E balance of about $3 million, Carter recommended that the district consider buying out the city of Tracy’s interests in the West High School pool. She said that would enable the district to return the pool’s primary use back to the students for a cost of $1.4 million.

With full control of the pool, she said, the district could increase the charge to use the facility to $175 per hour. She recommended taking three years to phase in the higher fee so users could get accustomed to the increase from the present cost of $36 per hour.

Trustee Kelly Lewis said he agreed with the proposed buyout, because some school groups were having difficulty getting pool time, such as the water polo team at West.

The pool proposal is slated for a vote at the Aug. 26 school board meeting.

Under Measure S, Carter said the district was moving ahead with improvements to South/West Park Elementary School that include adding a two-story building for offices, 17 classrooms and two computer labs.

She said the district had submitted the plans to the Division of the State Architect, which supervises school construction, and had scheduled renovations for the summer of 2015.

Using money from Measure B, the district is planning improvements to Central School, North School and Tracy Learning Center, a group of three charter schools that occupies the former Clover Middle School campus, which the district still owns.

Carter said that the board needed to certify the election results for Measure B’s approval, establish a bond oversight committee, select architects and choose a construction manager.

The board voted unanimously to approve Concord-based RGM & Associates for construction management and hire WLC Architects in Berkeley for the Central School project and Rainforth Grau Architects of Sacramento for the Clover and North projects.

The trustees also unanimously approved housing students displaced by construction in 20 unused classrooms at the Institute for Global Commerce and Government next to West High. Carter told the board it could save about $1 million per school by doing so. The trustees agreed it would be cheaper to move the children to an existing facility, rather than temporary site.

Lewis asked Carter if it was her team’s goal to perform construction on all the schools simultaneously, and she said it was, but there were no guarantees.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
August 18, 2014
I'm Pat Windschitl, the West High Swimming and West High Water Polo coach. I'm also the coach for Ellis Aquatics, a non-profit and USA swim/polo club that uses West High 11 months out of the year for the past 4 years. I'm the pool user here.

$135 an hour is an incredible cost for a club sports team to try and tackle. We use the pool after the High School teams are done with a team that fluctuates between 80-200 kids throughout the year. It just wouldn't be possible to pay nearly $10,000 a month. Who could? Lodi charges only $2400 for the same 50m space and hours.

This would cripple Tracy's Aquatic programs for the High Schools. With our program and the summer rec league Tracy's just starting to become powerful in swim/polo. This year Kimball dominated the VOL in swimming. All three schools had incredibly large section teams, and on the USA club side the city of Tracy sent athletes to compete in national & international meets in Washington, Mexico, and more. Without supporting youth aquatics this can't happen.

As the West polo coach we use Tracy/Kimball for summer conditioning. If the district is looking to spend on aquatics, fix Kimball first. It's constantly broken

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