A profit-sharing plan will expand the community’s use of the pool at Rutherford High School, while setting aside funds to offset future capital improvements. Rutherford Public Schools Board of Education accepted a bid Monday and directed its business administrator to work out contract details.
The nonprofit Rutherford Swim Association submitted the winning bid. In addition to expanding community use, the deal offers assurance that the High School pool will continue operating for the next five years.
“The Rutherford Swim Association described a solid vision for making this arrangement work,” said school district Superintendent Jack Hurley. “It met every one of our proposal criteria, including experience, knowledge, and – most importantly – a broad plan for programming.”
Rutherford Swim Association is made up of citizens who are determined to develop numerous programs including swim lessons, daily options for swimming, and early and special education swim programs. It hopes to establish a competitive, year-round swim team, to offer triathlon training, and to serve as a site for Special Olympics training.
“We are so excited to partner with the school district to meet our goals,” said association President Mike Lazzara. “We will have a place to call home, and that place will welcome the entire community.”
Lazzara works with Christopher Dunn to manage the association. They are both Rutherford High School graduates have experience managing pools, coaching youth, and running swim programs.
The association’s programmatic goals are firmly based in community use. Its plan includes operating the pool from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with time slots earmarked for open swim, lap swim, lessons, and other uses. It plans recreation and competitive swim teams. The Rutherford High School swim team will still practice there. Membership dues and fees for service will generate revenue to cover costs of staffing and standard maintenance. Half of the profits will be shared with the school district and reserved for capital improvements.
The High School pool does not meet a curriculum need, but administrators recognize its value as a community resource. This arrangement will take much of the cost burden off the school district. It will also expand pool use by people who aren’t associated with the school.
Terms of the bid include a five-year commitment, which is the longest time a school board can commit to a contract.