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Niskayuna district suspends public pool access at high school

Niskayuna district suspends public pool access at high school

Other new safety measures include changes to entrance points
Niskayuna district suspends public pool access at high school
An event at the Niskayuna High School swimming pool in January 2016.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

NISKAYUNA — Niskayuna school district officials suspended public access to the high school pool as part of a broader set of safety precautions announced Friday.

The district, for years, has allowed residents to use the high school pool during early morning, midday and nighttime public swim sessions. But the practice ended on Monday in the wake of a Florida school shooting last month and a wave of concerns from students and parents about access to the high school.

"Community access to the pool will be suspended until the district can work out a plan to address the safety concerns," Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. wrote in a note outlining the policy change. Tangorra, at a recent school board meeting, said he didn't like that student lifeguards work at the pool with no other supervision.

The district has issued about 100 pool passes to both individuals and households for the current year, Niskayuna spokesman Matt Leon said on Monday.  

Both Niskayuna residents and non-residents have been allowed to purchase annual passes to use the pool at certain times of day, including times when school is in session. The pool passes range from $70 for a resident adult to $200 for a non-resident. Household passes cost $130 for resident families and $375 for non-resident families.

The district's Friday announcement didn't say whether public access would be available in the future under new security precautions; district officials said they plan to release more information about pool access in the coming weeks. 

"We are reviewing staffing options to address the concerns that have been raised and will have an update for the community as soon as possible, certainly within the coming weeks," Leon said by email Monday.

The package of broader safety changes includes restricting entrance points at the high school, requiring more information from school visitors and keeping school doors closed until designated arrival times for students.

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