Brielle Thomas and Shaye Davison swim at the Fruita REC after school.

Anika Roelands

Just Keep Swimming…Or Maybe Not?

September 22, 2017

The 2017-2018 school year seems to be a landmark for many things, but budget cuts aren’t exactly the highlight. Like many activities this year, the amenities provided at Fruita Monument High School have received a new budget, whether it be bigger or smaller.

After years of team practices in Fruita’s small pool, the FMHS swim and dive teams will have to adjust to a new environment for their after school gatherings. This cozy pool, known for its many physics boat races, “is simply not meeting current health codes and the costs to fix that issue has become exorbitant,” said Todd McClaskey, the FMHS principal.

Heating issues, boiler repairs, liner and foundation issues, and many other outdated parts to the pool are in need of repair due to the age of the pool. Because of lack of funding, the district has made the decision to close down the pool instead of juggling with the many extreme expenses. “We can look forward to that area being redone into something such as a wrestling room– a facility that the community can put to use as well as the school, for activities such as yoga, CPR training, and wrestling practices,” McClaskey explained.

A facility like this will end up costing the district significantly less than an outdated pool as well as supply the school with more opportunities.

Fruita’s community center (aka Fruita Rec) is opening their arms to the swim team, as they are an important part of the community, said Ashley Hoefer, a Fruita Rec Center employee. “Honestly, even if it were a problem, they would be practicing here at our slowest part of the year. The fall and winter season isn’t too busy, so our business shouldn’t be affected or anything,” Hoefer said. The Fruita rec plans on sectioning their lap pool into lanes of 4 or 5 to make room for the FMHS swimmers as well as still accommodating their other members.

Brielle Thomas and Shaye Davison, both champion swimmers and captains on Fruita’s team, explained that this will “definitely be an adjustment” for their team this year. “We can get through it. The carpooling to and from the rec center for the swimmers without cars will just be something we have to work out, but we’re all pretty close and willing,” Thomas explained.

“With practices starting at 3:15 after school, it will be difficult… we’re just hoping we can all get there on time,” Davison added in.

Aside from the timing, the two swimmers seemed confident that the plans will play out fairly well and are excited for a new and more open environment to bond with new members of the team this coming season.

Science Teacher Caleb Hicks, determined to carry out the popular physics tradition of boat racing, insists that his crowd attractor won’t perish, but instead may change to a different location such as Highline Lake state park or Fruita rec center as well. Hicks explains, “I do get that it costs a lot of money, and I’m bummed that this 10 year tradition has to change, but I know we’ll figure it out and I look forward to seeing what happens.”

Due to a possible location change, the audience of this occasion may be more scarce, so Hicks hopes to video parts of it and possibly put it on the Fruita News to get it the attention it deserves.


Picture Credit: Anika Roelands

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