Maxwell residents may find some relief from the heat this summer, now that Maxwell Unified School District has resumed responsibility for the Town Pool, which is located at the high school.
It is also possible that with a more collaborative effort between the school district, Maxwell Park and Recreation District, students, and the community, the swimming pool might once again have a future in the small town, school officials said.
Faced with repairs and rising costs of chemicals and labor, the Maxwell Park and Recreation officials were forced to turn the pool back over to the rightful owners at the close of the 2020 season.
“We just don’t have the money to bring the swimming pool up to code,” said MPR President Kyle Miller.
Maxwell Superintendent of Schools Summer Shadley, in a report to the school board last week, said hope is not entirely lost that the pool can remain a viable asset to district students and the community.
School officials and students have banded together to get the pool at least up and running by next week for physical education purposes. Teacher Kyle Cabral and his class cleaned around the facility, swept, pulled weeds, and painted the pool’s surface.
“The kids were pretty excited about it, which is pretty cool, because they have a little bit of buy in,” Shadley said.
Shadley said she is looking to apply for state and federal funding to help cover the major needs of the pool, which includes a complete resurfacing.
Meanwhile, the school district did what MPR has always done in the past by asking the community for help. Shadley said she sent a letter to all post office box holders in Maxwell asking for donations and posted the letter to social media.
“The annual cost to operate the pool is around $20,000 with labor, utilities, and chemicals,” Shadley said.
The Maxwell Town Pool was built on land donated to the school district in 1950.
Local community members formed the Maxwell Swimming Pool Association at that time to construct the pool to keep kids from swimming in the irrigation canals and ditches.
While MPR abandoned official operation of the pool after property owners rejected a Proposition 218 request to increase the 1986 recreation assessment, district officials said they would help by providing volunteer labor.
MPR Director Sharol Kuska, longtime pool and snackbar manager, has offered to help with community use and private pool parties during the summer.
The school district hopes to keep the pool open through September. However, the long term viability of the pool will require joint financial responsibility between the school district, Maxwell Park and Recreation, and the community, Shadley said.
MPR has also not ruled out another Prop 218 request in the future for a smaller amount, officials said, although the district does not have the money at this time to cover the cost of an election. §