Options for open swim considered by board

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp.- The board of education is discussing renegotiating their contract with Aqua Club for the pool management. One provision that the district is concerned about is the open swim hours.
“It’s $64,000 a year for the open swim, there are 32 people in open swim,” said superintendent Dr. Matt Outlaw. “That’s $2,000 per person that we’re doing for open swim.”
Aqua Club began managing the pool two years ago in May of 2017. At the time, the pool had 42 memberships. Owner of Aqua Club, Nim Shapira, had previously said he was confident he could get that number up, and that if the memberships reached 175, the district would not be charged for pool management.
“We should look and see if we should explore another avenue for the open swim,” said board president Diane Salter. “And then also start to negotiate what Aqua Club is going to do.”
Aqua Club operates at the school for profit, and in the original contract, the school would pay Aqua Club $40,000 a year to manage the pool through open swim and lessons. The school is also responsible for any maintenance costs to the facility.
“There are a certain amount of physical operating costs that I would say that we owe, but the fact that they’re running it and maintaining it, managing the program, but they’re also a for profit operation, and obviously they’re selling their for-profit services,” said board member Kevin McClellan. “So, not that I want to put them out of business, but I think since they’ve grown the program, our contribution should be less because we’re no longer supporting the program, we’re supporting our physical assets, we’re supporting our pool, the benefit they get by using our pool is for-profit business.”
Rent is not charged for use of the facilities.
“We’d like to open dialogue with them,” said Outlaw.