Competitive Swimming Funding Requests



Competitive Swimming Committee funding recommendation



Messrs. Tucker, Elliott, Davis, and Mullaney





January 7, 2009


ACTION:                INFORMATION: 



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   X







On August 6, 2008, Star Swimming (Star) presented a request to the Board of Supervisors for $500,000 to provide an enclosure system over a 12 lane competitive swim facility to be constructed at the Fairview Swim and Tennis Club (Fairview).  In exchange for this funding contribution, Star pledged to provide priority practice and meet times for all three County high school swim teams at no cost to the School Division or County.  The County had previously conditionally included in its FY 2011/2012 Capital Improvements Program $1.25 million for the potential addition of competitive swim lanes at the YMCA facility to be built in McIntire Park.  In response to Star’s request and, in recognition of the tentative funding allocation to the YMCA, the Board directed the County Executive to appoint a Committee, including a representative of the Albemarle County School Division, to recommend a course of action for Board consideration.  The members of the Committee included Ken Boyd, Bryan Elliott, Bill Letteri, Steve Heon, and Pat Mullaney.  Subsequent to this decision, Crozet Park made a request to the Board of Supervisors on September 3, 2008 seeking funding assistance to construct an enclosure at the Crozet Park pool to provide a more convenient indoor swimming option for residents in the western part of the County.  The Crozet Park request was also assigned to the Committee for consideration.



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 4:  Fund the County’s Future Needs.



As a framework for this discussion, it is important to understand where competitive swimming ranked against other indoor recreation needs in the 2004 County-wide recreation needs assessment.  In a random survey, County citizens were asked to select three out of 16 potential indoor recreation programming spaces/facilities they would be most willing to support with tax dollars.  Competitive swimming pool facilities ranked 15th out of 16 with approximately five percent (5%) of the respondents selecting it as one of their top three (3) choices (Attachment A).  Based on the results of this survey, competitive swimming was not deemed to be an urgent County-wide recreation need.  Nonetheless, the three County high school competitive swim programs are currently in desperate need of reasonably convenient lane space.  Assuming the County desires for these programs to continue and succeed, the needs of the three high school swim teams was a major consideration in the evaluation of these requests.  Further, the Committee determined that while the requests were related, they should not necessarily be viewed as competing.  Therefore, in order to obtain consistent and complete information, a procedure similar to the County’s funding request process for agencies was followed and funding request instructions were developed (Attachment B).  The following summarizes the three requests and the Committee’s evaluation and recommendation.


Star Swimming of Charlottesville (Attachment C)

The Star request is for a one-time $500,000 contribution to be used for an enclosure system and related expenses to cover a new 10–lane competitive pool to be built by Fairview and a 2-lane warm-water pool to be built by Star.  The requested County contribution represents 30% of the total project cost.  The frame of the enclosure has an anticipated life span of approximately 20 years while the vinyl panels will need to be replaced by Star after 10-12 years at an estimated cost of $60,000.  Star is guaranteeing that all three schools can have 6 full lanes for practice between 4:00pm and 8:30pm for the entire high school swim season at no charge.  Further, the facility provides almost unlimited ability for local high schools to host meets up to and including regional competitions.  Star anticipates the enclosed facility to be available for the start of the high school swim season in November of 2009.


Favorable Factors:




YMCA (Attachment D)

The YMCA request is for a one-time $1.25 million contribution from both the City and County for a competitive pool to be added to the McIntire YMCA.  If only the City contributes, the pool will have at least six lanes.  While it is unclear from the YMCA response, a follow up conversation with the YMCA Director indicated that the YMCA would commit to build 10 lanes with the contributions from both the City and County.  The County contribution would be approximately 33% of the total cost of the competitive pool addition and would allow County high school swim team access to the competitive pool at a reduced cost of $12 - $16 per lane hour.  This facility would also provide ability for County high schools to host meets.  This would be a brick and mortar facility with a 50 year life span.  Construction of this facility is anticipated to commence in late 2009 and be available for use in late 2010. 


Favorable Factors:




Crozet Park (Attachment E)

The Crozet Park request is for a $350,000 contribution to be used for a 960 square foot addition to the existing pool building, HVAC equipment and a 14,170 square foot air supported dome over the existing swimming pool.  The County contribution is 66% of the estimated $525,000 project.  Crozet Park will begin a fund raising campaign to secure the remaining $175,000 if the County agrees to fund this proposal.  The existing pool is an 8-lane, 25-meter pool with an additional zero depth beach entry.  The anticipated lifetime of the structure is 15 to 20 years.  The programming and operations of the facility will be provided through a lease arrangement with the YMCA.  A letter of intent from the YMCA included with the Crozet Park proposal indicated their interest in entering into a long-term collaborative agreement “as soon as is practical” (Attachment F).  The high school swim teams will have access to the pool for practice at a standard cost of $15 - $20 per lane hour.  Crozet Park anticipates that the bubbled facility would be available for the start of the high school swim season in November of 2009.


Favorable Factors:

·         Most attractive proposal to Western Albemarle swim team.

·         Conveniently located to serve western part of County with potential non competitive swimming programs.

·         Least expensive request of 3 proposals.

·         Potential long-term partnership with YMCA.

·         Very committed Park Board has sustained outdoor pool annual operations without County assistance.





The budget impacts for all proposals are discussed above.  The only proposal being recommended for consideration at this time is the Star proposal which would have a budget impact of $100,000 per year for 5 years.



The Committee has made the following recommendation to the CIP oversight committee:

  1. The County’s commitment to the YMCA should remain at $2,030,000 with no additional funding provided for the competitive pool in the final adopted 5-year plan.
  2. Funding for a more efficient Crozet Park pool enclosure system should be included in the out years of the CIP.
  3. Consideration should be given to funding the Star request at $100,000 per year over a 5-year period with the first $100,000 being provided from the existing Parks and Recreation capital budget in the spring of 2009, if the Star request is included in the final adopted 5-year CIP.  Funding would be conditioned upon the execution of an agreement to assure the public and school use of the facilities as proposed.


The School Board has not taken a position on the Star proposal.  It has asked that additional information be provided to it for its consideration at a School Board meeting in the near future.  It is anticipated that the School Board will take a position on school use of the proposed facility prior to the Board’s consideration of the CIP. 


The Parks and Recreation Director is encouraging the Crozet Park Board to develop an on-going working partnership arrangement with the YMCA on the operation of the outdoor pool and other programming prior to scheduled funding for the pool enclosure.  Based on the success of that partnership effort, evaluation of the market and availability of  County funding, the pool enclosure project for Crozet Park could be recommended for funding sooner in future Parks and Recreation CIP submissions.


This report is provided for the Board’s information and no action is required by the Board at this time.




Attachment A – Indoor Recreation Needs

Attachment B – Funding Request Instructions

Attachment C – Star Proposal

Attachment D – YMCA Proposal

Attachment E – Crozet Park Proposal

Attachment F – Crozet Park – YMCA Letter of Support


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