School district proposes reduction of hours and fees at Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club

Board members questioned a fee reduction with the club already operating at a loss.

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  • | 3:19 p.m. February 15, 2022
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Schools
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The school district has proposed reducing hours for pool and gym use at the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club. Along with that, the district has also proposed reducing fees.

But after hearing that the facilities will continue to operate at a loss, some School Board members seemed cool to the idea of lowering fees for members and public day use.

“I understand we're also cutting services, but reducing the fee doesn't seem logical when you're losing money,” Board Chair Trevor Tucker said at a Feb. 15 information workshop.

“I understand we're also cutting services, but reducing the fee doesn't seem logical when you're losing money.”

TREVOR TUCKER, School Board chair 

Board member Jill Woolbright agreed. “Just because we’re reducing hours, I don't see a need to change the fees,” she said.

Joshua Walker, the district's coordinator of community services and county interlocal agreements, presented the district's study that showed peak membership months and peak days and hours of use for the pool and gym.

Currently, monthly membership is $35, $20 for students. Non-member use is $4 per day. Current hours are 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Noting that usage spikes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Sundays are the least-used day, Walker presented a proposal reducing hours to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday; and closed on Sunday.

Walker said the proposed hours meets the requirement of the district's interlocal agreement. The requirement calls for the facilities to be open an average of six days a week and six hours a day.

The district proposed reducing monthly membership to $25 for adults but keeping student membership at $20. The non-member fee would be reduced to $3 per day.

Board member Colleen Conklin suggested the board ask the city of Palm Coast to help support the public facility, especially with the Palm Coast Aquatics Center closed during the winter.

“It’s located in the heart of Palm Coast,” Conklin said of the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club. “There's no reason they can't be contributing.”

The tennis courts are closed and will soon be demolished with the district planning to add portables to the site for classroom and office space. Paul Peacock, the district's chief of operations, said a committee will be created soon to discuss a new name for the facility.

Tucker had the proposed hours and fees added to the March board meeting agenda.





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