October 17, 2021

 

GISD Propositions D and E   


Prop D proposes partnership for aquatic center



GISD Bond Proposition E       $770,000

Proposition E is a proposal to renovate the tennis center at Georgetown High School. The center has its original infrastructure with temporary upgrades provided by volunteers. Proposed projects include:

• Replacing the dilapidated wood-framed concession/storage building and the center’s perimeter fencing
• Resurfacing the courts
• Constructing a walking aisle between fences that separate north and south rows of courts

 

By KATHERINE ANTHONY

Georgetown ISD’s bond Proposition D — which calls for the construction of a swim center and a full-program YMCA facility to be managed by the organization — is modeled after similar partnerships in other states, and Prop D proponents say it can work in Georgetown as well. 

Successful pool partnerships between school districts and YMCAs in Phoenix; Boise, Idaho; and Norman, Oklahoma; are evidence the model can meet both school and community needs in one facility, according to Scott Alarcón, chairman of the Yes for Georgetown ISD, the citizen committee promoting the district’s bond proposals. 

“Georgetown has always been about partnerships and this would be a fantastic one,” Mr. Alarcón said. 

Proposition D is one of a five-proposition school bond proposal on the November 2 ballot. Early voting begins Monday.

Jeff Andresen, president of the YMCA of Williamson County, along with YMCA Extension Director Cathleen Phelps and Mr. Alarcón recently met with the Sun to explain Proposition D — a proposal to build and manage a two-pool operation that would be home to GISD’s high school swim teams and a full-program YMCA facility. The pools would be an outdoor competition pool and an indoor pool for recreational swimming and swim lesson programming.

From the YMCA’s perspective, this partnership with GISD would be ideal.

“We would have been in Georgetown years ago if we had had a partner,” Mr. Andresen said. “The YMCA is the largest operator of pools in the United States. No one does pools better.”

GISD School Bond Information

October 19, 6 p.m.
Virtual presentation
georgetownisdbond.org/resources

For more information: www.georgetownisdbond.org

 

Proposed partnership 

According to the Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed by GISD and the YMCA, GISD would pay 100 percent of the costs — $23.6 million — to build an outdoor competition pool for its high school swim teams, and shared indoor spaces such as locker rooms, lobby, and equipment and supply storage. Also included is half of construction costs of the indoor pool. 

GISD would pay for 100 percent of operating the outdoor pool (utilities and maintenance); and the YMCA would pay for 100 percent of staffing and administration.

GISD and the YMCA would evenly split the construction and operating costs of the indoor pool. 

The YMCA of Williamson County would pay $8 million for construction of spaces that would be used by Y programs.

The YMCA would pay 100 percent of the operation costs for Y programs.

GISD swim needs

For Georgetown ISD, passage of Prop D would provide a pool to meet the needs of its growing swim program, Mr. Alarcón said. He is president of the swim booster club at Georgetown High School.

The proposed site of the facility is on district-owned property near McCoy Elementary, located off Shell Road.

Currently, high school teams from both GHS and East View practice in the heated pool located in the Village subdivision off Shell Road. That facility is a city-owned recreational pool, 25 yards in length, that has six lanes for lap swimming. 

“We appreciate the city offering use of the Village pool, but it’s too small and too shallow,” Mr. Alarcón said. 

Other city-owned pools also are not suitable, he said. The Williams Drive pool is not heated and the recreation center indoor pool is too small.

The UIL swim competition season is from August through February.

A dedicated competition pool, such as the one proposed in Prop D, has 20-24 outdoor lanes depending upon configuration and would be 50 meters long. It would also include an area for dive meets. 

The proposed pool also would be built to accommodate two teams practicing at the same time.

GHS and EVHS swimmers — 30 from GHS and 20 from EVHS — practice at the Village pool before and after school. Mr. Alarcón noted that, with only six lanes, each swimmer’s practice time is shorter than optimal. With an additional third high school projected to open later this decade, the need for a regulation competition pool will be even greater, he said.

Mr. Alarcón said the size of the proposed competition pool would accommodate four high schools, and also would be an attractive site for UIL swim meets and private swim club meets.

“There is definitely potential for rental income,” he said.

YMCA’s role

The Y’s partnership in the project would grow its presence in Georgetown while “reducing the burden on local government and schools because the Y is able to offset operations costs,” Mr. Andresen said.

The Williamson County Y’s existing programs in Georgetown are after-school childcare for GISD, youth summer camps and senior citizen programs. 

The proposed center, on a member-fee basis, would offer a full range of Y programs, Mr. Andresen said.

In addition to recreational swimming — and water safety classes for GISD elementary students — it would provide programs similar to the Y facility in Round Rock — health and fitness facilities and classes, family and youth programs, child care, and summer programs for teens and younger children. 

“Our motto is ‘Y for All,’ ” he said.

The Y fee schedule can be viewed online at https://ymcagwc.org/membership-rates/#gf_16


Editor’s note: Third in a series about Georgetown ISD’s $381.67 million school bond proposal that will appear on the November 2 ballot. Early Voting begins October 18. Information about voting can be found at www.wilco.org/Departments/Elections