After many delays, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District is finally ready to start construction on a new aquatics center.
The aquatic center at Paso Robles High School was originally supposed to have two pools, allowing for regional swimming competitions and a warm-up pool.
But after two pools were originally ordered and delivered more than three years ago, construction bids came back about $5 million over budget.
The pools have been sitting in storage ever since, while the school board has searched for a solution to the construction cost.
That solution is to combine the two pools into one.
"We could sell the smaller pool and downsize the bigger pool because it is in sections and so it can be made into a smaller pool," said Curt Dubost, Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Superintendent.
Gwen Severson is one of many parents in the district who are thankful this project is moving forward. Her son is a junior on the varsity swim and water polo teams and her daughter was also on the varsity swim team. They used the old city pool.
"My kids enjoyed it, they grew up swimming in it on a club team, and they loved the pool. They didn't really see all of the sort of flaws and weaknesses," said Severson, Swim Paso Association Chair.
The new pool will be located on the high school campus.
It’ll be large enough for high school competitions, but not for the regional meets they’d originally planned to host.
But by combining the pools, the district has enough money left in its Measure M fund to afford the $5.7 million construction cost.
"My son may not be able to swim in it and compete in it, but we know so many young swimmers that can look at this new facility and get excited that they will actually have a pool on campus," said Severson.
Dubost says construction will start as soon as possible and they are hoping to have the pool completed by next spring.
The consolidated pool will be 25 meters across for high school competitions. It will have a shallow end as well as an area for diving. They will still hold community swim lessons in the shallow end during off-hours.