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Schools may cooperate with YMCA to build pools

The proposal is the latest in a series of plans floated over the last decade to build a community pool.

By JENNIFER FARRELL

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2000


BROOKSVILLE -- School officials waded into the community pool-building waters Tuesday with the announcement of a plan to lease property off Mobley Road to the Hernando County Family YMCA, which would in turn put up a new 10,000-square-foot swimming complex.

At a School Board workshop, Superintendent John Sanders asked for permission to move forward with a plan to enter a lease agreement with the YMCA for the 7- to 8-acre property near the county fairgrounds just south of Brooksville.

Project coordinator Rick Webster said the facility would likely house a spa and two pools: one inside for competitions and one outside for recreational use.

Sanders said the 4- to 5-acre complex would cost the school district nothing and would relieve scheduling headaches that have long resulted from the county's shortage of pools.

Currently, Sanders said, Hernando High School swimmers use a private facility, which is not ideal because it is outdoors.

Swimmers at Springstead and Central high schools share the YMCA in Spring Hill.

"It's really at capacity," Sanders said.

He added that the problem will only get worse when the county's new high school is finished.

For the idea to float, Sanders said, the lease will have to include a provision that allows the school system to use the facility.

Negotiations on price of the lease are still to come, Sanders said.

"We'll have to talk with them about what is reasonable," he said.

Webster said the proposal was in the beginning stages and that no details were available concerning fees or a potential construction schedule.

Sanders said the property is too small to house a school and that it had previously been considered as a potential site for an administrative complex. That idea also was rejected because the parcel was too small, Sanders said.

The proposal is the latest in a series of plans floated over the last decade to build a community pool in Hernando County. The most recent came from County Commissioner Chris Kingsley in November. It called for the County Commission, School Board and Brooksville City Council to chip in for a $1.5-million facility on undeveloped land near Anderson Snow Road.

Before that, the YMCA and the city of Brooksville had talked, unsuccessfully, about a pool near the Jerome Brown Community Center after plans by a private developer to build a water park on school property fell through.

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