District wants talks on pool

Jul. 25, 2013 @ 09:53 PM

School district officials think they have a good idea for what to do with the closed Grimsley High School swimming pool in Greensboro, but they also know they do not have the money to do it alone.
The Board of Education took control of the pool recently from the City of Greensboro. A storm damaged the facility in December 2011. The district also owns a pool at Smith High School. The Grimsley pool once served the community and students and Grimsley, Page and Northeast Guilford High Schools and school officials would like that to happen again.
“You could justify the expense if the city, the county and the schools built it,”  school board member Ed Price of High Point said Thursday during a board meeting. Guilford County and the schools should get together on this.”
Faced with repair and renovation estimates ranging from $1 million to $3.8 million, board members know the pool won’t be reopened until several agencies combine efforts. It would cost an estimated $300,000 a year to operate the pool.
“We need to look at a consortium,” said Chairman Alan Duncan. “The hours our students would use the pool does not justify the price of repairs. We have limited resources for this.”
The district pays $15,000 a year to rent swim time at pools across Guilford County for high school swim teams.  Thirteen of 15 district high schools offer swimming. Earlier, swimmers and coaches complained  that swimmers who had used the Grimsley pool have had difficulty getting practice time at other pools.
Ted Szostak, a swimming coach, said it is difficult to book practice time at the new Greensboro Aquatics Center.
“Swimming is important and we need places where students can learn to swim,” Duncan said.
Just placing the project on a priority list would be difficult, Duncan said.
“We can’t advance this project ahead of others,” Duncan said. “We have limited resources.”

Grimsley High School Pool

Damage: In December 2011, a windstorm sheared off part of the roof of the building protecting the pool.  Later the pool water drained away through cracks.
Ownership: The Board of Education reclaimed the pool from the City of Greensboro following a squabble over repairs.
Community: A group called Save Our Pool formed to lobby for renovation and repair of the pool.