Editorial: Sour school pool deal
Schenectady High School’s swimming pool didn’t get a whole lot of use by city residents when there was no charge to swim there, which is one reason the school district discontinued public swimming hours there a year ago. So what makes officials from the school district and the YMCA think that charging residents a relative boatload of money to swim there will be any different?
The plan to let YMCA members swim free, while nonmember adult city residents will have to shell out $25 per month, is a great deal for the former but an insult to the latter, whose tax dollars were used to build the pool nearly a decade ago and who are still paying off the bonds.
Why is the Y, which declined to build a pool when it moved to its new Center City facility last year and is paying the school district no rent, getting such a lucrative benefit while taxpayers are getting ripped off?
Maybe $25 isn’t all that much for someone who plans to use the pool regularly, but it’s a lot more than free and two-thirds the cost of a full Y membership and certainly a high enough fee to discourage casual use. So more than likely it seems, Y members will have their own private pool to swim and splash around in during the early morning, evening and weekend hours that the school isn’t using it. That’s a membership benefit the Y is likely to use to attract new members, but the school district won’t benefit a penny from it.
And while this setup won’t cost the school district much beyond the cost of utilities and chemicals because the Y will be responsible for staffing costs, one would have hoped school officials would spoken up a little more loudly for their constituents.