By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Programs Offset Pool Op Costs
Placeholder Image
Now that the new Oakdale High School pool has been unveiled, it’s not only hosting school-related water sports and PE classes, but has become home to some community swim programs as well. These outside users are also providing income to the district to offset the pool’s operational costs.
Masters Swim is a program being run out of the non-profit Club Water Polo program in Oakdale, coordinated by Alan Stender, who is also the OHS varsity boys water polo coach.
“The city ran a (Masters Swim) program in the last two summers and we just wanted to keep it going, get some exercise and raise some funds to offset the additional operating costs of the new OHS pool,” Stender said. “…There are a lot of master swimmers living in Oakdale going to Sonora or MJC to swim. Let’s bring that money to Oakdale.”
He said the high school has a need and the pool will be heated anyway through mid-November because of section meets and matches. He added that the new OHS pool has made it possible to expand club water polo from just a summer program to also include late fall and early spring. He said that this fall is the first year for a pre-high school water polo program, which supplements training and skills for high school and younger age water polo players.
Oakdale Joint Unified School District Assistant Superintendent for Business Tim Hern said that right now they are not seeking any other pool users, other than the ones they’ve had discussions with so far — the club water polo group, Masters Swim, U.S. Swimmer and Oakdale’s rec swim team, the Gators.
“During the school year we do not have a great deal of extra time available, with water polo going on right now and swimming in the spring along with PE classes,” Hern said. “…The summer has the greatest possibilities for other groups to use the pool.”
He said that the groups that are in place now are using the pool until about 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., depending on the day.
Hern reported that right now they are basing the costs on estimates of pool operations, which is about $130 a day plus labor costs. He said that those costs will be split between the district and the users and that he is still working on a formula to determine what they will be and the funds collected will go toward operation and upkeep of the pool.
Stender said that his water polo and masters groups can’t afford the high costs of heating a pool through the coldest part of winter.
“We will close down the pool from mid November to February unless someone can afford to heat the pool,” Hern added. “Then we will open in February for swim season.”
Stender said that the high school’s aquatic center is a “beautiful facility” and that in these tight budget times, it’s important to help with operating costs. He compared it to renting a home versus owning a home — there are more maintenance costs with ownership.
“I believe … 2011 should be able to generate some serious revenue to offset operating costs … We’re a non-profit trying to find some funds (to help with the pool),” Stender said.
He added that the Masters Swim program is for anyone out of high school who wants to swim. He said that currently they have people in the class who range in age from early 20s to late 60s, many of them are “mature” swimmers. Further, ability and fitness levels of the individuals range from basic, low-key exercisers to a triathlete. He said that people can do lap swimming at their own pace, or they can do a workout provided by Stender or lifeguard/coach Fallon Clipper.
The cost of the Masters Swim program is $30 per month. Class times are available in the morning from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and also the evening from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday until Nov. 15. It will stop for the winter and then they will start the program back up again on Feb. 1 of 2011.
The pre-high school water polo training is 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., also Monday through Thursday. Stender noted that outside the costs that cover the program’s official membership and the lifeguard/coach fees, all the money raised will go toward the OHS pool’s maintenance costs.
For more information about the Masters Swim or club water polo programs, contact Stender at (209) 605-3351 or vie e-mail at