School board mulls school pool user fees

How a lot ought to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District cost totally different teams to make use of faculty swimming pools? That query stays unanswered after debate at Monday’s Board of Education assembly despatched board members again to the drafting board.

KPBSD board voted Monday to ship Administrative Regulation 1330, which describes the usage of faculty services and properties, again to the board’s coverage committee for extra work. Among different issues, the coverage describes room charges, pool admission and rental charges and auditorium charges.

Noncommercial pool customers advocated Monday for the creation of an extra class of customers to be added to the district’s price schedule and stated a worth hike applied years in the past has made operating some packages unimaginable. The board held in depth work classes in 2019 to deal with the problem earlier than approving adjustments, which embody a bump within the hourly price for a catch-all group of customers from $35 to $150.

Currently, the district acknowledges 5 distinct consumer classes on the subject of faculty swimming pools, that are given totally different precedence. Category A, given highest precedence, is used for varsity and school-related actions. Other classes embody particular person birthday events, particular person lane leases and teams that present actions for youth. Category C contains another teams that don’t meet standards for the aforementioned classes.

Youth actions teams are charged $35 per hour, which incorporates one life guard, and $70 for 2 hours, which embody two lifeguards. Individual birthday events are charged $90 per hour for as much as 49 individuals, which incorporates two lifeguards. Category C teams pay $150 per hour with one lifeguard and $185 per hour with two lifeguards.

Up for consideration by the board Monday had been adjustments to the price schedule that had been introduced ahead on the request of the general public in December 2021. The adjustments would have, amongst different issues, lowered the variety of consumer classes and clarified that charges apply throughout regular pool operations.

Alaska SeaLife Center President and CEO Dr. Tara Riemer informed board members Monday that she’s been combating the value hike for the reason that adjustments had been applied. The SeaLife Center’s divers practice on the Seward High School pool and referred to as the $150 per hour price “a little crazy.” The SeaLife Center’s diving staff is accountable for cleansing the ability’s tanks and analysis work.

Riemer referred to as for “middle ground” and identified that the middle’s divers are skilled swimmers, who’re being educated as a part of their job and don’t essentially want two lifeguards on obligation.

“We’ve actually wondered if we should start scheduling birthday parties and renting the pool for a birthday party in order for us to do our dive training, because quite frankly, that would be a much more cost-effective manner,” Riemer stated.

She proposed an extra class for noncommercial pool use that will enable teams like hers to proceed utilizing the pool, together with for kids’s programming that the SeaLife heart additionally affords.

Angie Brennan, of Soldotna, stated she’s coached aggressive swimming at the highschool and grownup ranges and has been an teacher in an grownup learn-to-swim program. She stated she hears often from individuals who need to take part regionally in U.S. Masters Swimming that she’s needed to flip away as a result of this system grew to become too costly to run.

“I get probably five people a week asking can we swim masters and we couldn’t afford to keep going this time,” Brennan stated Monday.

A trickle-down impact of with the ability to provide grownup swimming courses, Brennan stated, is that these adults can then educate their youngsters to swim. The extra those that know easy methods to swim, she stated, the extra drowning fatalities will be lowered on the peninsula.

Johna Beech, of Kenai, is a longtime masters swimmer and voiced her frustration that there didn’t seem like a spot for grownup swim teams within the faculty district’s price schedule. Beech stated she’d prefer to see extra lap swim occasions supplied as nicely. Beech stated swim observe Monday was canceled as a result of there wasn’t a lifeguard there to oversee.

“It’s a little bit frustrating,” Beech informed board members. “We have three incredible pools within a 10-mile radius and we can’t use them.”

The adjustments up for consideration Monday will now transfer again into committee for additional work by board members.

Monday’s full board of schooling assembly will be streamed on the district’s media web page at

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

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