Hopefully, KPBSD Superintendent Steve Atwater’s suggestion to close the Skyview High School pool as a cost cutting measure will be examined thoughtfully and rejected for three important reasons.
1. Closing a Borough asset that addresses a health and safety issue is unthinkable. The drowning rate in Alaska is ten times higher than the overall U.S. rate and drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among children ages 1-19.
2. Since Skyview will be a middle school next year, student swimming proficiency can become part of the seventh/eighth grade course requirements and a focus for the school. Swimming and this pool can, in fact, enhance the middle school experience by providing challenges, more course offerings and a healthy outlet for students. Utilizing the pool in such a manner will also serendipitously free up high school student schedules for an additional specialized elective!
3. Skyview is widely utilized presently. The Skyview pool provides a means for healthy activities not only for students but for community members, senior citizens, intellectually and physically impaired persons of all ages, athlete swimmers and those just learning to swim. Other area pools cannot adequately meet the needs of all these user groups.
It is hoped that a thoughtful, global, creative approach to budget challenges will result in the utilization and maintenance of the resources and facilities with which we have been blest.