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Davis Journal

Lack of pool space limiting some swimming programs in the district

May 30, 2023 11:08AM ● By Becky Ginos

Woods Cross’ Grace Gilbert starts the 200 Yard Medley Relay at state. Some of the swimming programs have had to make cuts because of lack of pool space. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

FARMINGTON—Some swimming events in the Davis School District are being limited because of a lack of pool space.The question is where to find it. The school board discussed the options at a recent meeting that included a city council member and South Davis Recreation director.

“There are 100 swimmers,” said Dr. Tim Best, Health, Athletics & Physical Education, and Driver Education Section Director. “That’s more than basketball, baseball, etc. Four high schools had to make cuts because of pool space and facilities availability.”

They have a conditioning class on B days, he said. “But they can’t have more than three teams because it’s difficult when you have five different teams at a facility. Also when there’s special needs swimmers it gets crowded.”

Other sports have access to everything on the first day of school, gyms and football fields, said Best. “But they can’t do swimming.”

The kids’ schedule is chaotic for five months, he said. “They’re doing three-a-days for five months but if they’re not in the pool they’re not getting better. You can’t put 90 kids in three lanes. I know pools have to close for maintenance so we have to get creative in the fall.”

SeaPerch, an underwater robotics program, has gone away because of not enough pools, said Best. “Access to pools is the largest barrier for kids in science and STEM.”

“Some schools have pools,” said Board Member John Robison. “One option is for the district to build its own pools and possibly have an inter-local agreement with cities.”

Lifetime approached the Farmington mayor and economic director about putting a facility in Station Park North, said Best. “It will expand it to eight lanes. It’s by CRA tax increments. If it happens it will be nice for the city.”

The Layton pool is old, he said. “They’re in the process of evaluating a wave pool but they have no definite plans. The Clearfield pool is not bad, it's just a little small. New construction won’t happen prior to 2028.”

“We’ve been looking at a bond for the last couple of years,” said South Davis Recreation Executive Director, Tif Miller. “We’ll continue to have a conversation about that and the pool is part of the overall bond in the future. We’re looking at a stand alone or extension to the pool.”

“Pools are expensive facilities to run,” said Bountiful City Councilmember Kate Bradshaw. “The rec center covers five cities in Davis County. We want to make sure we serve the community’s needs.”

COVID made the budget difficult, she said. “I’ll be surprised if we go to bond this year. We’re dealing with all these puzzle pieces and you’re a part of that.”

“Our kids are there (pools) a lot,” said Business Administrator, Craig Carter. “As with any other sport we try to develop the best facilities that we can.” λ