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College, TISD finalize pool deal

College, TISD finalize pool deal

District to spend $2 million on repairs and renovations; Russell says no word yet on continued community use

October 2nd, 2018 by Jennifer Middleton in Texarkana News

Swimmers start the 50-yard freestyle race Jan. 23, 2016 during the district championship held at Texarkana College.

Texarkana College's Board of Trustees on Monday approved a 30-year lease with Texarkana Independent School District for use of the Aquatic Center.

TISD will spend an estimated $2 million repairing and renovating the building in conjunction with the lease, which begins Jan. 1, said TC President James Henry Russell.

"It is a cost avoidance of $2 million for capital outlays," he said. "That is an estimate and there is a chance during construction it could be more than that depending on what they find in certain parts. It's a cost avoidance of easily six figures per year for maintenance, utilities and upkeep."

Improvements include a new roof, pool lining and renovation of the dressing rooms. Currently, the Aquatic Center is used by TISD's Tiger Swim team and college staff, students and community members. Russell said he met with community members last week about the lease and closure. While TISD has not officially confirmed the community will be able to use the pool, Russell said he gets the impression that if the project goes smoothly and there are no additional issues, the community will be able to use the pool again.

"I have a feeling in about a year from now we will have a beautiful facility filled with kids all day long and some community use mixed and summer swim lessons teaching the community how to swim," he said.

Work will begin after the state swim meet in February with the goal of completing the project by next fall, TISD Superintendent Paul Norton said. TISD's Board of Trustees will meet Oct. 16 and hear a report from a financial adviser on bond options for the project.

In other business, the board approved TISD leasing half of the Physical Science building from Texarkana College for the Options program. The district will pay $1 per year and the college will receive approximately $9,000 in advertising each year. The district has leased the building for the last three years and this resolution modified the lease.

"Several of these students also take dual credit classes while they're finishing their high school diploma and then become full-time TC students once they receive their diploma," Russell said. "We've enjoyed having the program on campus and it utilizes a part of the campus that would otherwise be empty."

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