PRHS ponders the idea of implementing a pool for swim teams


IN WITH THE NEW: Swim coach Jennifer Brown expresses her excitement as Measure M awaits approval, which if passed would provide funds for a long awaited pool for swim meets and practice. (Photo credit: Lindsay Darbyshire)

The subject about a possible installation of a pool on campus has long been floating around the school, but now it seems that details are beginning to break the surface. Measure M, a general obligation bond aimed to improve local schools, is pending approval and said to make a wave in favor for the possibility of a pool dedicated to the Bearcats located on campus south of the new Agriculture Center and next to the tennis courts.

New information about the proposal has made a splash with an estimated 60 Bearcat swimmers and the six aquatics coaches hopeful to have a place to call their home base. What once was no more than a trickle has grown into a steady stream of planning ideas for a timeline, budget, and location of the pool.

Benefits of such an long awaited amenity would include a chance to host competitions, solve transportation issues, and provide a space to house the swimming, diving, and water polo teams. “Being off campus cuts into athlete’s study and sleep time due to the burden of extra driving and due to the fact that our pool is too small to accommodate all of our athletes in a reasonable time frame. This places extra stress on our student athletes who are already impacted with busy schedules,” said swim coach Jennifer Brown, who has been involved in aquatics in San Luis Obispo for 28 years.

“Right now, we’re practicing over at Kennedy [Club Fitness], and it’s [a] really limited space. We have multiple club teams in the area, so being able to have one pool just dedicated to us would really help…” said freshman Audrey Hughes, who currently competes with the club team Paso Robles Aquatics, and will swim for the PRHS varsity team when the 2016 spring season comes around.


WAVES OF POSSIBILITY: Future varsity swimmer freshman Audrey Hughes describes the benefits of implementing a new pool on campus to house the next generations of Bearcat swim teams. (Photo credit: Lindsay Darbyshire)

“An Olympic size pool would provide a venue to train students in an aquatics PE courses, allow students to obtain lifeguard certifications and practice water polo and swim at the same time. The community would be allowed to utilize the pool in non student hours and participate in masters swimming and swim lessons for kids,” said Richard Clayton, the District Athletic Director.

As for a definite timeline regarding construction, planning action will be  by the Superintendent, Board of Education, Director of Facilities, and District Athletic Director if Measure M is approved and passes the project. “Timelines and priorities will be set and scheduled based on the results of the election on November 8th,” said Clayton.

Until then, athletes and coaches eagerly await further news on the project. “I can say without a doubt in my mind that this plan is for real and I hope the citizens of Paso Robles get behind it. Our athletes deserve to have an equal playing field,” said Brown. “Get informed, read the FMP [Financial Master Plan, Aquatics on page 83], read about Measure M, and spread the word to help support our school district. It’s all about our community, all about our kids, and all about our future!”

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