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School board considers pool options

School board considers pool options School board considers pool options

On Monday, the Abbotsford school district’s maintenance supervisor Mason Rachu took several members of the school board on a tour of the district’s pool, highlighting the problems with the 46-year-old structure.

Board members learned last month that the pool had sprung a substantial leak and learned on Monday that the pool is in need of extensive repairs, including replacing disintegrated piping and old and crumbling plaster.

The board held a joint facilities and finance meeting to discuss what its first, tentative steps on this matter should be.

“I guess the discussion for this committee is what recommendation would you like to make to the full board as far as this facility?” superintendant Sherry Baker inquired of the board members present at Monday’s meeting. “Do we talk about fixing and repairing it?”

Board president Eric Reis and board member Gary Schraufnagel were both in favor of hearing from the public on the matter, and felt the district should conduct a survey to gauge public opinion. With a potential price tag of $1 million to overhaul the entire facility, several members felt the district should explore all options, even possibly repurposing the space for classrooms.

Rachu noted that repurposing the pool into classrooms would also be expensive, with the HVAC system needing to be changed to allow enough air circulation. Also, the cost of filling in the entire surface area of the pool with concrete would cost thousands of dollars, he said.

But before the board moves forward with committing any money to renovate or repurpose the pool, Baker advised the committee to seek more information.

“You can’t really decide what you want to do for financing until you decide what the scope of this project will be,” Baker reminded the board.

As a result, the facilities and finance committee approved a motion authorizing Rachu to go forward with a request for proposal (RFP) to Neuman Pools Inc., a company out of Beaver Dam that specializes in pools and aquatic centers, to discuss plans and get quotes for the cost of a complete overhaul and renovations.

“We need to include all of the questions and all of the repairs,” Eric Brodhagen said. “Whether it be the surface, the skimmers, the plasters or the top deck. What we don’t want do is have a repair number that looks rosy and then find out we need more repairs.”

Rachu will then deliver this information during the school board’s next monthly meeting on Dec. 21.

Baker said in a follow up e-mail that a public survey will be conducted, with links provided later this month on the district’s website and Facebook page.