EDITOR: Recent negative press in your paper compelled me to
write. Hopefully, you will print this response so that another view
of the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center will reach our community.
Recent negative press in your paper compelled me to write. Hopefully, you will print this response so that another view of the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center will reach our community.
I have attended the numerous publicly noticed “visioning” and planning meetings regarding the spending of the RDA money to benefit our community. At these meetings it has been very clear that the majority of the community wanted and would benefit from a municipal Aquatic Center. Morgan Hill has long had a very active and successful aquatic community that could flourish with the use of this much needed asset.
I have lived in Morgan Hill since 1971. I am proud to currently have four generations living in Morgan Hill (on both my and my husband’s sides). I have seen many changes here, but too few have been for the benefit of the youth and adult recreation.
My husband and I are proud that our 8- and 9-year-old daughters have been swimming year-round for the last three years. Additionally, Geno and I are master swimmers and Geno is the coach and founder of the El Toro Brewing Co. Master Water Polo team. I know many other families who are just as involved with these healthy sports. I know many others who would be involved except for the scheduling conflicts created by the minimal pool time available.
It is sad but true that those who do or wish to swim are at the mercy of the Morgan Hill School District’s schedule. Our athletes, who enjoy swimming year round are in dire need of water to swim in. The swim teams, water polo club, master swimmers and the YMCA all rent water from the School District because there is no other option.
The masters swim from 5-6:45 a.m. as that is the only time the Live Oak High School pool is available to us. Our youth are allowed to swim after 4 p.m. and often are scheduled as late as 7:30 p.m. They must wait for the high school to finish, then the high school swim team practices, and are squeezed in until the high school water polo teams return for their evening practices.
The above schedule is only further jeopardized when the pool is down, as it is recently because of a malfunction. When this has happened in the past (just after the new high school pool was opened) we had to take our children to San Jose to practices which took two hours in travel time each day. Many other Morgan Hill families did so as well.
We are very excited to see that the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center will be built for the entire community to use. I would support its use and expect to see many users there. It will offer the swim teams more reasonable practice hours as well as many other uses such as learn to swim programs, water safety classes, water aerobics, lap swimming, conditioning for triathletes, scuba classes, diving classes and competitions, 25-yard and 50-meter swim meet competitions and water polo practices and tournaments.
Additionally, thousands in our community will enjoy the water slides (tube style), splash pool with interactive water features, a soft deck fountain splash area as well as a six-lane learn to swim pool that is shallow and virtually surrounded by steps.
I mentioned at a City Council meeting (while expressing my support of this Aquatic Center), that the competitions or tournaments can take place at the same time that the recreation areas are in use. Often the swim meets and/or tournaments I have attended begin 9 a.m. and are typically finished by 2 or 3 p.m.
Much attention is being paid to the costs of operation and the planned solar heating is only one way those costs can be minimized. I do not see any point in delaying this project since the economy is down the construction costs are low. Waiting will only add costs to the project. I firmly believe that the entire community will hugely benefit from the planned Aquatic Center.