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posted: 2/24/2014 5:01 AM

Endorsement: 'Yes' to Lake Park pool

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Lake Park High School District 108's push to build a swimming pool should be familiar to voters. District leaders have eyed a pool for decades, not only as a home for the school's swim and dive teams but also as a way to bring swimming, water safety, lifeguard certification and more to the curriculum for all students. On the drawing board are plans for an eight-lane competition pool with a diving well, a warm-water therapy pool, seating for 330 spectators and locker rooms with showers -- all similar to a plan rejected by voters last April. In the ensuing year, school leaders have worked with their counterparts at the park districts serving Lake Park's feeder towns to incorporate elements -- such as a separate community entrance, family locker rooms, a meeting room and a toddler shelf in the therapy pool -- that ensure the facility is truly a community resource. Lake Park is seeking approval to borrow $8.5 million to fund construction, with another $600,000 coming from existing district funds, as well as permission to raise the property taxes to cover the pool's operation and maintenance costs. The construction loan would add $17.60 annually to the tax bill of a $300,000 house for the 10 years until the debt is repaid; the operations increase would permanently add $20.16 to the tax bill. For their money, taxpayers would be building the only indoor aquatic center serving the residents of Lake Park's communities and a facility that considers the best interests of students as well as residents of all ages. We recommend voting yes on both questions.

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