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San Diego High Schools Will Share New Pools With Community

— Water sports may be a way of life in San Diego but only one of the city’s schools actually has a swimming pool.

Aired 5/29/13 on KPBS News.

San Diego Unified is looking to partner with community organizations to operate the district's first publicly funded swimming pools.

San Diego Unified school board trustee Scott Barnett.

Above: San Diego Unified school board trustee Scott Barnett.

La Jolla High School has a pool that was built with private funds. San Diego Unified’s Proposition Z will change that. School swimming pools are on the list of projects the construction bonds will fund.

High school sports teams now travel to city swimming pools or to high schools in other school districts such as Poway Unified to practice, said school board trustee Scott Barnett.

San Diego Unified trustees voted Tuesday to build the district’s first 10 publicly funded school swimming pools as joint-use facilities. Proposition Z funds will pay for pool construction and high school teams will get priority to use them. But an outside group such as the YMCA will operate and maintain the pools.

Barnett helped create the joint-use pool plan. He pointed to agreements like those the district has with the city and private businesses for sports fields and other facilities as models.

“To me, this is the new paradigm that is good for the kids, good for the taxpayers and meets the needs of the private sector," he said. "So, I’m hoping to expand this concept to many uses that are maybe not the core functions of the school district but are things that we want for our kids.”

The district is planning to start with pools at Mission Bay, Patrick Henry, Mira Mesa, Madison and San Diego High Schools and will seek proposals from organizations qualified to be pool operators soon.

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