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Save the Beacon High School Pool and Fitness Center for the citizens of Beacon

Beacon citizens unite:

Our community is finally undergoing a renaissance after years of stagnation. We have suffered through crime, drugs, dysfunctional schools and elected officials that did not address the needs of the community. At last Beacon is making progress; the citizens are getting involved and you can see improvement all around the city. We passed a budget to build a new high school and in return the community was promised access to the pool and fitness center ironically it is listed on the Beacon City website as a positive feature. I say ironically because the school board voted to indefinitely close the pool and fitness center to the public. When a group of concerned citizens drafted a petition and presented it to the members of the board, Mr.William Zopf, president of the board said they would reconsider their decision. However at the next meeting the decision remained the same and further more, “facilities would no longer be open to the public.” When pressed for a reason, Mr. Charles Symon - Asst. Superintendent of Media & Operations said they needed to make cuts and closing the school to the public would save money. He also said the community members lost interest and the annual fees collected did not cover the operating costs. It was an arbitrary decision made by the board on the recommendation of Mr. Symon.
The members of the community that use the facility offered to work with the board to reach an agreement that would be acceptable to both sides of the issue. If there are people in the community who believe that the school is a shared asset to be used by the students for education and the community who are paying the bills then please support this effort to keep the Fitness Center and the High School Pool available to the citizens of Beacon.

Below is the paragraph which appears on the Beacon website advertising the additional benefits of the city of Beacon. Regrettably the board of education has not
supported this position.

Public Pool and Fitness Center at the Beacon High School
Our state-of-art high school has a beautiful pool and fitness center which is open to the public. For a low annual membership of $135 community members can support the maintenance and staffing of the pool and fitness center during the community access hours. The staff include friendly student life guards and helpful school staff that make all community members feel welcome in this wonderful facility. For hours and directions visit Pool and Fitness Center Information Online

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Comment by Melissa Dunn on October 21, 2011 at 2:35pm

@Patti: You asked what you could do now to help keep the pool open. A group of Beacon residents will be attending the next meeting of the Board of Education next Monday, October 24th @ 7 p.m. at Beacon High School. We plan to ask the Board for an extension for raising our membership numbers--and to keep the pool open. If we fail, the pool will be closed to us at the end of January. If you want to help us make sure the pool stays open, please come this meeting and bring friends.

@Linda: look at this link for hours. Click on Pool and Fitness center at left, then download pdf w/ pool and fitness center info

http://www.beaconcityk12.org/BeaconHS.cfm?subpage=463746

Comment by Linda Law on July 17, 2011 at 11:13am

as a user of the facility (and fitness enthusiast) i would like to support in whatever way the maintenance of this resource.

 

Comment by Sannebear on July 5, 2011 at 9:58am
what is interesting is that even though I was unable to find the line-item school budget on-line, in Charlie Symon's powerpoint presentation for operations' budget if you see scenario C - contingency budget - it is only there that there is mention of closing the pool and fitness center to the public.  Well, if I remember correctly, the budget was passed and the contingency budget is only for when the vote fails. Something is not right here...
Comment by Mary Fris on July 2, 2011 at 12:46am

$135 is pretty low for an annual gym membership (albeit limited hours); how much more would members have to pay in order to stay open?  I understand, according to Charlie Symon,  that the energy costs of keeping the school open is extremely expensive. But what if the school board worked on developing adult education classes that would help offset the cost of things like the pool/gym?

Seems like a terrible waste letting those buildings stay empty every night when they could be put to good use and bring in some badly needed revenue. 

Comment by Sannebear on June 25, 2011 at 8:53am
My family paid annual fees a couple of years ago and used it a lot during the summer (2009). Soccer and v. cold winter kept us away for a while, but when my hubby went to take kids swimming in the spring the 'public' swim time was awash with 'Y' swim classes. We were not happy, at all. The School Board doesn't really seem to get it.
Comment by Patti Dale on June 24, 2011 at 1:38pm
I used the gym and pool this past winter and plan to do it again this winter. I would be willing to pay for a year-round membership to keep this open.
Comment by Melissa Dunn on June 23, 2011 at 9:23pm

I am a member of the pool, and had not heard this. I am an avid lap swimmer, and one of the reasons I moved to Beacon, as opposed to nearby towns, was because it had a public pool I could use. I also tried to join the University Settlement pool for the summer, but they didn't get enough members to keep it open. What can I do to help? If I wanted to write a letter to someone on the city council, to whom should I address it?

 

Comment by Amy Brosey on June 23, 2011 at 4:47pm
Oh, no.  I was planning to join this fall...
Comment by lillian glauda on June 23, 2011 at 9:47am
You can contact lglauda@mail.com. We are trying to generate a list of potential members to present to the board that would be willing to pay a modest fee to cover the additional cost to keep the pool and fitness center open to the public.
Comment by Jennn Partlow on June 23, 2011 at 9:38am
Whom should we contact?  My husband has been using the fitness center for a couple years, and I was hoping to join too this coming year.  My husband even promoted this community resource on Beacon Citizen in hopes that others might join, and people commented that they'd never heard of the pool/center being open to the public.  I definitely want to see this great resource stay open to Beacon residents!

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