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Nisky superintendent promises to restore pool access

Nisky superintendent promises to restore pool access

It will take a while
Nisky superintendent promises to restore pool access
Niskayuna High School swimming pool on Saturday morning January 23, 2016.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Gazette Photographer

NISKAYUNA -- Public access to the Niskayuna High School pool will be restored, but it may take a while, Niskayuna Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. said at Tuesday's school board meeting. 

Tangorra said he “supports community use of the pool now more than I did two meetings ago,” but he also said it would take time to develop a better system for managing access, without specifying how long.

While access for about 100 fees-paying users was halted amid a wave of safety concerns over the past month, Tangorra said a closer look at how the pool is used has raised other concerns.

“It’s becoming more apparent talking with pool users that there are issues with the pool that transcend the safety,” Tangorra told the school board. “We need to make sure that we have put a solid plan together to make sure people are properly signed in and out and there is adequate lifeguard coverage and supervision.”

The district held a meeting with pool users last week, some of whom reported showing up to the pool and finding no student lifeguards on duty, Tangorra said. The users also don’t have clear procedures for where to park, enter and register a visit to the school.

Tangorra and board members also suggested user fees should be reassessed, calling the current fees a “bargain price” to access the Niskayuna pool. 

Both Niskayuna residents and non-residents have been allowed to purchase annual passes to use the pool at certain times of the day, including when school is in session. The pool passes range in cost 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 gets about $11,000 each year from pool users but spends about $55,000 to operate the pool for public use, Tangorra told the school board at Tuesday’s meeting. 

Tangorra told the school board that district officials would explore new ways to manage access to the pool, potentially outsourcing lifeguard position to non-students.

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