A coordinator involved in planning for two full-size swimming pools in Magna is accusing the Granite Board of education of closing the pool at Cyprus High School prematurely.

Some Magna residents are also concerned that the board is giving preferential treatment to the other district high schools and closing the Cyprus pool without offering alternative services to athletes who used the facility frequently.The board closed the pool in March because of structural problems and cut swimming programs districtwide due to financial uncertainties with their budget.

"They have treated us differently," said Delone Hayes, president of the Pirate Swim Team, an age-group swim program in Magna. "They (the board) didn't keep their promise to keep that pool open." Hayes is a member of a special task force formed to oversee planning for the indoor-outdoor pool complex in Magna.

The 19-member task force, formed by the Magna Community Council and the Magna Area Council, wants the pools built in Pleasant Green Park, 8400 W. 3300 South. The group has indicated it will need to raise approximately $2 million to begin the project, which would serve Magna's 20,000 residents.

As for the Cyprus High pool, "If they have pools in the other schools, they should have a pool in this one," Hayes said.

But district officials say they closed the facility after realizing it was old, deteriorated and needed major improvements.

"The only reason the pool (at Cyprus) was closed was because of structural problems," said E. Frank Willard-sen, assistant superintendent of administrative services of the Granite School District.

If a pool at Skyline had had the same problems as did the one at Cyprus, it also would have been shut down, Willardsen noted.

There are nine high schools in the district, eight of which have pools. Kearns High School leases the Kearns community pool, Willardsen said.

As now planned, the two Magna pools - one indoor and one outdoor - would be located in one facility and would have locker rooms, showers and rest rooms.

The task force is waiting to see whether the board will allocate funds to help build the indoor pool. However, Willardsen said the school board would only allocate funds "if we don't repair the old pool," at Cyprus High.

Mecham said Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation officials have agreed to help the task force raise the funds for the outdoor pool.


(Additional information)

Hearing Wednesday

A hearing on the proposed Magna swimming pools is scheduled Wednesday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m. at the Magna Recreation Center. The hearing will be mostly informational.