The notion of a community pool on the Coastside has been a topic of ongoing discussion for years. Now, tentative plans are being drawn up and money is being raised for a new swimming center.
Though the location and design have not yet been decided, Friends of Half Moon Bay Parks and Recreation has begun an endowment fund for a new swimming pool. If it comes to fruition, the new pool area would be dubbed the Coastside Aquatic Center.
According to Coastsider Eric Harger, the nonprofit’s fundraising chair, a viable community pool would fulfill a number of needs. Representatives of the Cabrillo Unified School District, city of Half Moon Bay and Half Moon Bay High School have been in discussion with the nonprofit’s board and agree that an expansion of some kind would benefit the community.
“Our goal is raising funds to help alleviate the ongoing burden to either the city, the school district or both, however this ends up coming together,” Harger said.
Seeking around $2 million for the endowment fund, the nonprofit currently has roughly $50,000. The money raised would offset the cost of the pool down the line when the plans with the city and school district come together. While no location has been set in stone, Harger said one potential idea calls for a new pool at the site of the current Half Moon Bay High School pool.
“What we’ll be able to do is invest the money and then kick off cash flow so it will pay for heating and maintenance costs of the pool,” Harger said.
Harger explained that a more publicly available pool would be beneficial on several fronts. It would provide commerce to the Coastside and a venue for high school water polo. Because the current pool isn’t big enough for matches, parents and volunteers drive players to practice at the College of San Mateo pool. A local facility would save time and money for the school district.
As with most collaborative efforts for public facilities, this is sure to be a multiyear process.
The Coastside nonprofit is also launching a membership drive to keep a sustained fundraising effort for the pool. Go to hmbparks.org for more information on the $25 membership fee.
The group is also partnering with local businesses to raise funds and awareness about the project. One night last week, at Cameron’s Pub and Restaurant, a portion of the night’s proceeds went to the endowment fund. There are similar events happening in the coming months. Flying Fish Grill will have one from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 10, and Hop Dogma plans to host another in April. There are nearly a dozen
donation boxes at local
businesses, including Spangler’s Market, Bike Works, La Petite Baleen and the UPS Store.