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Opinion: 20 Bucks to Swim at College of San Mateo Pool!

By Bill Collins, Riptide Correspondent

I was surprised when my swim coach told me that the College of San Mateo has a new Olympic-size swimming pool. Then he said it costs $20 per drop-in visit!

I searched the college's website, which says to call the private, for-profit company that manages the pool to find out the drop-in cost. I did find that college staff get free use of the pool, which may explain why it was built at district headquarters on the San Mateo campus instead of the other campuses (Skyline, Canada), which don't have swimming pools.

When the voters approved the prior college bond, the money was supposed to go for  "constructing and modernizing classrooms ... and the replacement of aging ventilation systems, removal of hazardous materials such as asbestos, and installation of alternative-energy programs."

The voters weren't told the college district was going to build a big swimming pool, much less charge us taxpayers who paid for it the highest per-visit charge in the state for any community college swimming pool.

The next time the college asks us to raise taxes for academics, its argument will be undermined by how it handled the new swimming pool, paid for by taxpayers but run like a private club for the moneyed and district staff.

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