School, town, county OK rec pool agreement
By Brielle Schaeffer, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
August 13, 2012
Teton County School District trustees approved an agreement with the town and county at an Aug. 8 meeting that maintains existing community pool hours and allows more public time on school fields.
The agreement keeps school swim team practices in the afternoon, instead of moving them to the morning and booting out community swimmers as originally proposed. In addition to outlining the district’s use of the town and county’s pools from Aug. 13 though Dec. 31, it spells out the community’s use of the district’s fields.
Town and county officials approved an amendment to a facility use and scheduling agreement at a joint meeting Aug. 6. For the agreement to move forward, all three bodies — the school board, Town Council and board of county commissioners — had to approve it.
Use of the pool and the fields was in dispute after the school district approved a new school schedule that put student athletes in conflict with public swimmers.
Earlier this year, school trustees approved later start times for high school and middle school students that will cause later starts for after-school sports practices. That pushed students onto fields during times the public is accustomed to using them.
When school starts Aug. 29, high school students will start at 8:55 a.m. and get out at 3:50 p.m. Jackson Hole Middle School will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m.
Under the new amendment, high school swimmers will leave school early to use the pool from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the same as in the past. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, varsity swimmers will use two to three of the pool’s eight lanes from 6:15 to 7:15 a.m.
When middle school swim season starts in October, those athletes will have the pool for practice from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. daily.
The amendment also outlines the times each school field is available for community use. Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation will give priority to youth programs before 6:30 p.m., the amendment says.
The Town Council, board of commissioners and school district board are scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. today to look at all their use agreements to see if there are other areas where new agreements need to be hammered out.
Also on that agenda is further discussion about a public pathway that passes behind the district’s Giants Field. Work to the stadium closed the path this spring and removed the asphalt from the path.
The surface is now gravel and decorative brick, which some say are not safe for bicycles.
The path passes through land leased by the district from the state, and school officials have indicated they planned to leave it as gravel and brick.
However, the pathway was created with federal funds. Town and county officials have asked the Federal Highway Administration about the ramifications of the altered pathway.
This afternoon’s meeting will take place in the county commissioners’ chambers.