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updated: 5/28/2013 11:01 AM

New pools coming to Dist. 211 schools

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By Reema Amin

All five high schools in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 will get new pools between 2014-2016, the school board has decided.

Superintendent Nancy Robb's proposal calls for spending $15 million, about $3 million for each pool, which will be larger than the ones currently in use.

Besides helping the high school swim teams, she said, more lanes will allow more residents to use the pools.

Brian Drenth, head boys swim coach at Conant, said he's happy the board has recognized that T-shaped pools are outdated.

The 40-year-old, relatively small pools have put District 211 teams at a "competitive disadvantage," he said, adding no district swim team has placed in the state's top 10 since 2002.

Most other schools now compete in yards, but the district's smaller pools force teams to train in meters and convert their distances.

"Most of our teams have grown to around 75 athletes sharing six lanes," Drenth said. "That puts 10-13 swimmers in the same lane. It's become almost impossible to run effective practices with that many athletes in such a combined area."

Robb's proposal calls for the larger, square-shaped pools that Drenth and others want.

Where to find the $15 million is as yet undetermined. Robb proposes it be taken from the district's educational fund reserves -- which now are at more than $112 million. It's expected the board will vote on funding at the June meeting.

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