By Mario Conde
The Calexico School District and the City of Calexico are ready to work for the construction of a new Olympic swimming pool.
The Measure H Committee approved Monday the usage of $1 million dollars towards the construction of a new pool and related facilities with possible 100% reimbursement. City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that with this action will allow them to advertise the community that they will have a new pool and the appropriate facilities by 2013.
A committee made up of the City Manager Oscar Rodriquez, CUSD Superintendent Richard Fragale, City Council members Maritza Hurtado and Daniel Romero, and School Board members Norma Aguilar and Ruth Duarte, have been meeting and discussing financing options.
The committee met Monday morning and identified a reasonable project schedule for this project. They have also identified the facilities that will be built, except for the smaller recreational pool, financing permitting; the committee is also prepared to commit repayment of these monies requested if the school receives more than $416,000 dollars from FEMA. The request is for $3 million. Also, if Redevelopment Agencies are allowed to continue to operate by the Supreme Court, with their ruling to be handled down in January 2012, said RDA monies will be pledge by the School District. Funds over $200,000 that are remaining after the appropriate repairs, caused by the April 4, 2010 Earthquake, are made to Jefferson Elementary School. Rodriquez said that Measure “H” funding will only be a “bridge loan” and will be totally paid back.
The City needs $3 million dollars for the construction of the Olympic swimming pool that will be constructed at Calexico High School were the Soccer Field is currently located. The new swimming pool will allow the high school to have a swimming competition team like they had in the past. The committee also discussed doing fundraising for the swimming pool and having the community play a part in the construction of the new pool. School Board member Norma Aguilar suggested contacting old Calexico residents and families that live away to support this project.
Calexico Police Chief Jim Neujahr said that having a swimming pool is the single most important crime prevention tool they have since it keeps teens away from trouble. Neujahr said that juvenile crime in Calexico is in an all time high because there is now swimming pool.
Recreation Director, Sandra Tauler, said that by approving this item it would be living proof that Measure “H” monies are at work since the people of Calexico are demanding a swimming pool.