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Valley parents and students call for pools in their school district

By Laura Yanez, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, Laura.Yanez@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Feb 11 2014 08:17:14 PM CST
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

The Palm Springs Unified School District has four high schools and not one with a swimming pool. For years, the no pool situation forced Palm Springs and Cathedral City High Schools to share the Palm Springs Community Swim Center pool not only with each other, but also with the public and an the Piranha swim organization.

Desert Hot Springs High School's swim team is now using the John H. Furbee Aquatic Center in Desert Hot Springs. The team had nowhere to practice until last week after the city and district agreed to fund the use of the pool.

Swimmers at the new Rancho Mirage High School get bussed outside of their own school district to practice at Palm Desert High.

"It's just inconvenient to not have a pool there. It would be if the football team went to another school to practice," said Norman Henderson, a parent of a Rancho Mirage High School student.

"Now that there's four high schools, it's a bigger issue," said Diana Forest, a parent of a Palm Springs High School student.

The PSUSD school board and administration are aware some parents, students and staff would like one or more pools in the district, according to PSUSD spokesperson Joan Boiko. The cost is very expensive not only to build a pool, but also maintain it. This spring, the school board will set budget priorities for the next few years. The pool issue will be considered.

Parents warn that too many swimmers from different schools and organizations sharing the water shortens practice time and their child's chances to compete at the highest level. They said a solution is long overdue.

"We would like pools in all of the schools but realistically we would like a pool Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage could share to alleviate the problem," said Henderson.

Students and parents plan to confront the board at the next meeting Feb. 25 to get their schools some pools.

"We want to be all together and pushing forward to get something done," said Henderson.