Star Swimming Request for Funding



Request from Star Swimming for County funding in return for priority swimming times for County high school swim teams.



Messrs. Tucker, Elliott, Davis, Mullaney





August 6, 2008


ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   









Star Swimming of Charlottesville is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization established to advance competitive swimming in the Charlottesville/Albemarle community.  The Virginia Gators are an association of teams located in Charlottesville and Roanoke which participate in USA Swimming sanctioned competition.  The Fairview Swim and Tennis club is a private non-profit club which provides recreational facilities for its members.  The Virginia Gators of Charlottesville practice year–round at the Fairview Swim and Tennis Club, but membership with Fairview is not a requirement for swimming with the Gators.  While the Star organization is affiliated with the Virginia Gators, its mission remains independent of the Gators and includes interest in supporting the County high school competitive swim teams (see Attachment B, pages 4 and 5).


Fairview is building a state-of-the-art 25 meter by 25 yard pool estimated to cost over $700,000.  Star Swimming/Gators are partnering with Fairview to add a two lane warmer water pool for lessons, water aerobics, and other community needs.  In addition, Star Swimming/Gators are raising funds to cover the pools for use in non-summer months.  The total cost of the improvements to be provided by Star Swimming/Gators is estimated at $785,000 (see Attachment A, Slide 17). 


Representatives of Star Swimming have approached County staff requesting that the Board of Supervisors consider a one-time contribution of $500,000 in exchange for a long-term commitment to provide priority swim time for all three high school swim teams.  The County has tentatively included in its FY 2011/2012 Capital Improvements Program an amount of $1,250,000 for the potential addition of competitive swim lanes to the YMCA facility to be built in McIntire Park.  The County, City and YMCA executed a use agreement which included a provision requiring good faith negotiations regarding the addition of competitive swim lanes in the YMCA facility; however those discussions, which were to have occurred by May 20, 2008, have not taken place.   



Goal 1:  Enhance the Quality of Life for all Citizens.

Goal 3:  Develop Policies and Infrastructure Improvements to Address the County’s Growing Needs.

Goal 5:  Fund the County’s Future Needs



Currently 2 of the 3 County high school swim teams are practicing until 10:00pm or later on school days with many students arriving home after 11:00pm.  With the closing of the Smith Pool beginning with the 2008-2009 season, it is anticipated that all 3 County teams will be on this schedule.  Until additional swim lanes are added either at the new YMCA or Fairview, all competitive swim teams and fitness swimmers will be impacted by increased competition for existing space.  County staff believes the Star Swimming proposal is worthy of consideration by the Board.  There appear to be several benefits compared to the previous proposal regarding competitive swim lanes from the YMCA (see Attachment A, slides 15 and 16).

The most significant benefits are:


  1. Reduced capital investment.
  2. Potential for more attractive guaranteed swim hours for all County high school teams.
  3. No ongoing operating costs other than standard rental for pool time.
  1. Completion date of September of 2009 vs. summer of 2010 or after for the YMCA.



A significant issue with the Star Swimming proposal is how to secure the County’s capital investment in a partnership agreement with a volunteer organization which is making improvements to a private club.  This matter will need thorough review by the County Attorney’s Office including a review of any agreements between Star Swimming/Gators and the Fairview Swim and Tennis Club.  In addition, staff recommends a follow-up discussion with the YMCA regarding additional competitive swim lanes at its proposed facility in McIntire Park prior to making a final decision on the Star Swimming proposal.


If the Board is interested in this alternative, coordination with the School Board will be necessary to evaluate the proposal.  Ultimately this may need to be structured as an agreement between the School Board and the Fairview Swim and Tennis Club and its partners.



Star Swimming is requesting a one-time capital contribution of $500,000 (see Attachment B, page 2).  There are no ongoing operating costs associated with this request other than standard rental for pool time from schools.



Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors take the Star proposal under consideration pending the necessary review by the County Attorney’s Office, and direct the County Executive to appoint a negotiating team in conjunction with the Albemarle County Schools to meet with representatives of the YMCA and Star Swimming and to recommend a course of action.



Attachment A--Power Point

Attachment B--Star Swimming Proposal

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