The Twin Rivers Unified School District announced that the recently opened Grant Union High School pool is closed to the public until Aug. 20, citing vandalism and continued construction for the closure.
The stainless steel pool – which cost $6.2 million – opened February 2017 and replaced a pool house that was closed 9 years ago by the Sacramento County Health Department.
Twin Rivers Assistant Superintendent Bill McGuire said that vandalism was found inside the pool's PVC lining, which necessitated 4 feet of water to be drained for repairs Wednesday. The decision to build a stainless steel pool with a PVC lining was made as opposed to making the pool with traditional gunite material because repairs to the concrete are easier to make, McGuire said.
The construction project will include the addition of a shade structure and bleachers. The school district chose not to schedule construction projects during the regular school year, McGuire said, because they did not want to disturb classes.
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President of the Del Paso Heights Community Association Ross Hendrickx and fellow community activist Gregory Jefferson were among those residents who questioned the school district's reasons for closing the pool.
"I think the pool closure has more to do with the fact that it's located south of I-80 than any particular problems with the pool itself," Jefferson said. "Highlands High School and Rio Linda High School, part of Twin Rivers districts, both have pools and both have experienced vandalism in the past, and neither shut down for the summer."
Last summer, the school district announced that they planned to close the pool to the public, citing a low number of lifeguards and other staff members. Hendrickx said that after the community protested this decision, the district decided to reopen the pool.
Jefferson said that the pool is used for more than just recreation – it's a good way to keep the children in the community engaged.
"It gives folks – young teenagers – a place to go," Jefferson said. "We want to keep our kids off the streets, and giving them a place to congregate where it's safe and where they can interact and talk with each other is also an asset to communities of this nature and background."
Although the pool is closed, children were seen swimming without supervision Wednesday afternoon. When asked, McGuire said that Twin Rivers Police would be visiting the pool "when necessary," and that swimming in the pool without proper safety measures in place can be a "life-threatening situation."