Community members ranging from students to school officials are coordinating a plan to save South Valley Middle School's swimming pool, which is expected to be demolished unless the Gilroy Unified School District can find the $300,000 needed for its repairs and maintenance.
The 17-year-old pool, which is used for physical education and serves locals living on the east side of town, is in need of .
Domingo Payne, GUSD Board of Education trustee, “had hoped for the city council's agreement to alleviate the cost for the next three years,” but that hope faded when council and school district officials couldn’t reach a financial agreement.
City council members offered to provide $117,000 for repairs and capital funding for the South Valley pool over the next three years during its April 16 meeting, but the .
Now Payne and other supporters are looking at a collaborative approach to keep the pool open.
“There have been two petitions, one from the students of South Valley Middle School and one from the community,” Payne wrote in a prepared statement. “Others have started a Facebook event asking people to attend the next city council meeting on June 4.”
So far, about 60 people have agreed to show up at tonight’s 6 p.m. city council meeting in support of saving the pool, Payne wrote.
A Facebook page titled Save the Pool at South Valley Middle School has been created by a community organization called Voz de la Gente, Gilroy.
The creator of the Facebook page states, “Gilroy council members have to make our kids a priority,” and asks the public to leave messages on council members’ Facebook pages stating “Pay for the Pool!”
According to Voz de la Gente, Gilroy, South Valley’s Pool is the only recreational one on the east side of town, and its closure would subsequently force those wishing to escape Gilroy’s summer heat to cross busy roads, like Leavesley Road, to find other recreational areas or to use Christopher High's aquatic center located across town.
Multiple commenters have posted messages on Facebook in support of saving the pool.
Gilroy resident Tonia Cano Guerrero states, “This is for our kids, they deserve the best like everyone else, and it’s up to us to represent our community in the east side.”
Check out what other commenters are saying about saving South Valley Middle School’s pool, below.
“I agree the kids are the most important part of the community. What will the children and families do in the summertime. Most families go to the park, but since San Ysidro park is closed what else or where else would they go to? Most kids want to swim because of the weather in the summer. If you close this pool down then they will only have one more to go to. But that pool will get to crowded and start fights or other incidents. It is very important to keep this pool open for the children’s sake.” — Kristie Martinez
"Is there a real reason why the City of Gilroy wants to dump the pool? They would rather spend money on stupid things like Gilroy Gardens and lose millions than spend $300K on a pool that would generate money from admissions, teach the kids to swim, give the kids something to do besides getting into trouble. Damn city folks have backwards thinking." — Jim Shuster
"The pool at Christopher High is an Aquatic Park. Kids on the east side of Gilroy need a decent summer activity. The east side is part of Gilroy, too." — Elanor Villarreal
City council meetings take place at 6 p.m. in the council chambers, located at 7351 Rosanna Street.
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