School district hosts forum about aquatic complex
–The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District hosted a public forum at the district board room Thursday evening to discuss the $8 million Aquatic Complex.
District Athletic Director Rich Clayton explained the projects “Pillars of Success” because Superintendent Chris Williams was not available. Clayton pitched the project to a room crowded mostly with people who support the pool’s construction.
Architect Rafael Ferreira of SIM-PBK showed drawings of the plans of the Aquatic Complex and described the function of each building.
Chief Business Officer Brad Pawlowski talked about the financial considerations.
The district is still fundraising. It needs to raise about $539,000 to fund the pool and related buildings. There are also questions about the cost of operating the pool. Arch Pac Aquatics estimates the cost at $330,000 a year without staff. But the City of San Luis Obispo reports the cost of Sinsheimer Pool maintenance at $900,000 a year, and that’s for only one 50-meter pool. The proposed Aquatic Complex includes two pool- one 50-meters, and another 25-yards.
Trustee Chris Bausch pointed out that the pool could not generate revenue. CBO Pawlowski agreed that the pool will be cost-neutral.
School Board Candidate Chris Arend raised questions about the lack of projections for insurance or a maintenance reserve fund. CBO Brad Pawlowski explained that the district carries insurance already, and that the General Reserve Fund will cover the maintenance of the reserve fund. In the last four years, that reserve fund has dropped from $7.5 million dollars to about $754,000.
The pool’s construction may ultimately be determined by the Fiscal Advisor assigned by the County Office of Education to help the Paso Robles School District through its financial difficulties. Diana Larson attended last night’s forum, but did not make any comment.