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    Albany seeks millions’ bond to rebuild swimming pool

    swimming poolAlbany resident Miriam Jocobs enjoyed herself in the Albany Pool Friday afternoon, Oct.26. Photo by Linjun Fan.  

    The Albany Unified School District board is considering issuing a $12 million general obligation bond to rebuild its swimming pool and a few other school facilities.

    The board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to decide whether to put the bond measure on February’s ballot.

    If approved by voters, a majority of the fund raised through the bond—$7 to 8 million—will be spent on rebuilding Albany ‘s swimming pool.

    The pool was built in 1950s and hasn’t been renovated since then. It has all kinds of problems associated with a building that is decades’ old, according to Director of Albany Pool Stephen Dunkle.  “The plumbing, the electrical, the building, all these are original. There’s never been any kind of remolding done on this building, ” Dunkle said.

    Renovation of the pool had been discussed for a number of years, but it was the breakdown of its roof ventilation fans last winter that prompted the school district to make a rebuilding plan.

    The pool is owned by the district and open to all public. It is the only public swimming facility in the city of Albany, with several hundred people using it on an average day, according to Dunkle..

    The rest of the bond money will be spent on repairing or rebuilding Albany’s Children’s Center, Adult School and other school facilities. Details of projects and the bond measure are being drafted by Superintendent William Wong and will be submited for board review in early November.

    It is possible that the new pool will have a roof and a heating system with the $7 million or so budget, Wong said during an interview Friday morning. A majority of the public favor an indoor pool, according to Dunkle.

    Twelve million dollars is the maximum amount of general obligation bond the district is authorized to issue.

    “The more we find out our long-time facilities issues, and put that out in front of the public early and often, I think the better off we are, ” said Board President Miriam Walden at a recent board meeting. ” So I am in favor of a larger number and more expensive list of projects we’ve already known we are going to hit sooner or later.

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