Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rio Vista Awaits New Swimming Pool

Rio Vista Awaits New Swimming Pool
By Carol Bogart | Daily Republic | January 07, 2008 16:10

Rio vista's Municipal Pool that was built in 1949 and is being replaced. The pool at the corner of Third and California Streets will be replaced with a new pool. Mike McCoy Photo by MIke McCoy

RIO VISTA - Construction bids will be accepted today on the first new municipal swimming pool in Rio Vista in nearly 60 years.

The current pool was built in 1949. It has undergone numerous renovations. Nine years ago, it was in such sad shape it couldn't open when the high school swim team's spring practice season started. The team was forced to practice in the then-coach's backyard pool, Rio Vista Foundation President Jack Krebs recalled, adding that for the past five years, the pool has opened late due to one problem or another.

For nearly a decade, the Rio Vista Foundation has been raising money for a new pool. The new larger pool will have eight swim lanes, two more than the current pool. To date, the foundation has raised $1 million.

The city is kicking in $300,000 and will contribute an additional $150,000 'in kind' to cover such things as legal expenses and the salary of a pool manager.

Depending on the winning bid, the 'pool fund' could be several hundred thousand dollars short of the estimated $2.2 million completion cost, and estimate Krebs said 'is not far off.'

To raise the needed funds, Krebs said the foundation will approach some potential donors who have yet to contribute and will revisit others who have already donated. Krebs believes residents can be counted on for any money still needed.

'It's just a very generous community,' he said.

The pool is central to Rio Vista's recreation program and the school swim teams. This past season, 200 youths ages 4-18 participated in the city's recreational swim program at the current pool in Bruning Park, Krebs said.

In addition, the pool is used for water aerobics, senior water aerobics and water safety courses, said Kreb's wife, Hask.

Although the high school has just 360 students, its swim team always is very competitive thanks to the strong start the swimmers get through Rio Vista's recreational swim program, Krebs said. He said one 'hometown boy,' Sean Mahoney, is a strong contender for U.S. Olympic swim team in the breaststroke.

Mahoney, who attends UC Berkeley, once competed with the high school swim team, Krebs said, and his grandparents still live in Rio Vista.

For liability reasons, the current pool's diving boards were removed. The new pool's deep end will be 2 feet shallower because no new boards will be added. Bleachers will replace the present changing room, and a new changing room will be built at the far end of the pool opposite Third Street.

Krebs said it's possible construction could begin as early as next month but called a February start date 'optimistic.' He said removing the current pool and building the new one in its place will take six months, start to finish.

Reach Carol Bogart at 427-6955 or at

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