A petition launched to help keep the Columbia High School swimming pool open has drawn over 1,500 signatures in just a day.
The closure is anticipated as part of an overall CHS renewal plan the South Orange – Maplewood Board of Education voted on in 2013, which would involve shuttering the pool — currently in need of costly repairs to keep it viable — and repurpose it into additional classroom space to accommodate the growing student population. In the last couple of years, the pool has received some basic maintenance and repair to keep it operational and safe in the meantime, but board members described that as a “bandaid.”
However, at Wednesday night’s BOE meeting, board members discussed potentially keeping the pool open for another year or two. Read more about the discussion here, and more about the overall budget problems here.
The Finance, Facilities and Technology committee will review the options next week and report its findings at the next BOE meeting on March 21.
“We know how important the swim program is and the idea of using it another year or two … it’s a matter of how much money we have to put into it. If we can and it makes financial sense, we will,” said FFT chair Beth Daugherty.