Supporters of a controversial indoor-swimming pool facility proposed for Prince William County’s 12th high school can count two elected officials among their ranks: Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisor Maureen Caddigan.
In interviews this week, both Stewart, R-At Large, and Caddigan, R-Potomac, expressed their support for the $10.5 million aquatics center proposed for the new high school, which is set to open in the fall of 2016 in the mid-county region near the corner of Va. 234 and Hoadly Road.
Do either of these people have any sense of priorities or money? I don’t think that they do.
NOT ONE DIME of taxpayer money should go towards a swimming pool in a county public school until kids no longer have to be placed in trailers for classrooms, class sizes are reduced, students have enough desks and books where they no longer have to share them, and teachers’ salaries catch up with surrounding jurisdictions in Virginia.
As if the $10.5 million wasn’t enough, that does not include maintenance, debt service or a myriad of other ancillary costs that total at least $1.5 million annually. Don’t even try to say that this school pool and others like it on the drawing board can pay for themselves by allowing county residents to use them for a fee. Just the annual operating costs amount to $4,109.58 per day every single day of the year.
Some argue that having pools in schools will attract more businesses and residents to the county. Something tells me that the negatives of having the largest class sizes in the Commonwealth and underpaid teachers outweighs the positive of a swimming pool in most people’s minds.
Nearly 60 cents of every tax dollar the county collects already goes to the school system and they want to divert this significant amount to a recreation facility when we have so many unmet priorities in classrooms? I don’t oppose public swimming pools in general. My daughter is now on a swim team, so I understand the need for additional pool lanes. Just don’t go raiding the school budget for this.
If I could retroactively take away all of my past votes for both Stewart and Caddigan, I would do it in a heartbeat. They are both major political disappointments who have stayed too long and should be shown the door at the earliest opportunity.