High school district's pool plans may stall JPA
He and Board Chairman Brian Dahle met recently with new LHS Superintendent Rebekah Barakos-Cartwright.
“There was no indication that it would be closed to the public,” Ketelsen said. “They recognized the public had a need for a pool.”
“They’re further along than any of us realized in designing a pool for the Credence site,” Ketelsen told the Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday, Oct. 23 meeting. “We asked in response to that information that they coordinate with their board to come before this board and state their plans.”
Any plans for a pool on LHS property would end the need for the Joint Powers Authority formed to build a public pool, according to District 2 County Supervisor Jim Chapman.
“If they’re going to build a swimming pool then we have no need for a JPA,” said Chapman at the board of supervisors’ Oct. 9 meeting.
“It makes no sense to proceed with the JPA if, in fact, the high school is going to build a pool,” Chapman repeated at the Oct. 15 meeting. “I would be in favor of waiting until they sunshine it so the community and the rest of us will know whether this other group is wasting its time or their time is being productive. We need to get it moving.”
At the board of supervisors Tuesday, Sept. 18 meeting, District 1 Supervisor Bob Pyle’s motion to approve a swimming and recreation joint powers agreement died for lack of a second.
Chapman suggested the board write a letter asking why the high school district was no longer involved in the JPA between the city, Lassen County, Lassen Community College and the Lassen County Office of Education. The letter also asked if the high school district had any plans to build its own pool independent of the JPA effort.
Ketelsen said he sent the letter, which prompted an invitation to meet with the new superintendent.
“It appears the high school has gone down the road toward putting together its own plans for a pool for the school,” Ketelsen said.
If the high school proceeds with its plan, he said it would probably need some professional help with financing and perhaps a more specific JPA based upon the particular project. Ketelsen said if the high school board is ready to proceed, maybe the county could consider joining its JPA.
During the Monday, Oct. 15 meeting with Barakos-Cartwright, Ketelsen asked the LHS superintendent to request the high school board’s permission to go to board of supervisors and explain the high school’s plans for a pool. If the LHS board approves the request at its Nov. 13 meeting, the presentation to the board of supervisors will likely occur in late November.
Ketelsen said the high school’s plan calls for a pool at Credence High School, as former LHS Superintendent Dan Lewis said at the Lassen Swimming and Recreation Joint Powers Authority meeting at Jensen Hall on Monday, June 18, attended by the city, county, high school, County Board of Education and LCC boards.
“In fact, the high school district has gone so far as to have a preliminary drawing of a swimming pool by an architect for the possible location on the Credence High School site,” Lewis said at the June 18 meeting.
He added public school districts in the state can apply for joint-use-project funding through the Office of Public School Construction. The state will give a school district up to $2 million to build a pool complex, if the school has a joint-use partnership with another public agency.
Ketelsen said he, Dahle and Barakos-Cartwright did not talk about funding for the pool. He added high school officials have always indicated they need a partner in order to build the pool.
“It’s a much more modest proposal,” Ketelsen said, agreeing the high school plans call for only a pool and no other facilities.
“I guess that’s the land that they’ve identified,” Ketelsen said of the Credence campus. “The statutory authority requires them to put up the land.”
“The community wants something done,” Chapman said last week, adding the high school district could have revealed all of its plans in June.
“That would have been the time to say, ‘That’s fine, but we’re already here. Instead of inventing this wheel, why don’t you help us make our wheel.’”
Pyle said the high school district may have developed its pool plan since the June meeting.
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