The OHS Competitive Swimming and Water Polo Center is located behind, or east, of the OHS main gym and adjacent just north of the football stadium. It fills an area that was previously a blacktop and had once hosted a few basketball hoops.
“I think that this pool will make water sports more visible on campus,” said OHS Varsity Girls Water Polo Coach and Social Studies Teacher Diane Kline. “I believe that it will attract more students to join the water polo and swim teams and also make them more accessible to students who want to come and cheer on their classmates.”
Assistant Superintendent for Business Tim Hern opened the dedication ceremony and talked about how the project came to fruition. He said that it is a unique facility in that it not only functions for the pool, but it also functions for the stadium and gymnasium, and the whole complex, is fully ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
“This is the last project that we promised with Measure C,” Hern said regarding the bond that was passed.
Oakdale Joint Unified School District Trustee Mike Tozzi called the pool “the gem of the Valley” and thanked many community members who were involved in helping the district meet its goals with the aquatic center. He noted how the long term effective use of developer fees and bond money made all the facilities and modernization projects possible.
“I became involved in the water sports programs at OHS five years ago, and there was talk then about getting a pool,” Kline added. “It is so rewarding to be a part of all the hard work of the district and community coming together to make the dream of a new pool a reality.”
District Superintendent Fred Rich also thanked many people in the district who played a role in the project’s completion and especially noted Hern’s dedication to the project. He also thanked the high school staff for dealing with 10 months of construction.
Rich had previously stated that he believes that Oakdale now has the finest high school athletic facilities in Stanislaus County.
The pool hosted its first water polo match the following day, on Sept. 14. The pool building is slated to be ready in about a week to two weeks.
Groundbreaking for the pool took place in October 2009. It has a unique rim overflow design, a surface area of 8,686 square feet, and is 111 feet long by 75 feet wide. It holds 433,932 gallons of water, has 14 swim lanes, varying levels of depth, a Colorado Timing System and much more. Refer to the Sept. 8 issue of The Leader for further details about the pool complex.
The design team for the OHS pool was Oakdale’s Gary Gery of DLR Group and Kenneth Moeller of Arch Pac. The contractor for the project was Diede Construction and the pool contractor was Water Works. OJUSD’s construction manager was Ron Holcombe of Pacific Program Management.