WATCH: Sonora, San Benito Face Facility Hurdles

Two Northern California prep programs, Sonora and San Benito, are in the news for facilities shortcomings this summer.

Sonora has become entangled in a legal battle between the Sonora Union High School District and a group of local taxpayers, who have filed suit to halt construction of a campus pool. The group asserts that no specific reference to a pool was made in a bond intended to fund physical upgrades to the high school campus. In 2012 voters approved Measure J, a $23 million bond measure directed toward Sonora High.

Principal and soon-to-be district superintendent Pat Chabot says [the current pool is] not worth fixing. Chabot and the rest of the school board planned a large aquatic center for the swim and water polo teams that’s being paid for with the same Measure J bond used to update the rest of the school.

But construction is on hold until the district deals with a citizen group lawsuit [local resident Larry] Coombs is a part of. He says he didn’t vote for a new pool.

“You can read through the bond, and there’s no mention of a pool or an aquatic facility,” he said…

Taxpayers could end up in the deep end as the school district estimates the construction delays and lawyer fees have taxpayers paying an extra $300,000 for the project.

The local aquatics programs will presumably continue to use the outdated pool while  legal proceedings continue.

Two and a half hours west the San Benito water polo program is in flux after their pool was drained to address problems with the 60s-era equipment.

The upcoming water polo season is up in the air. Student athletes don’t know if the pool will be back open by the fall, or if they’ll have to travel outside the area.

“We may have to get up early in the morning,” said sophomore Josh Corrigan. “We might have to stay late. We’re going to have to do homework on the bus.”

Josh’s dad, John, is part of Hollister for Aquatics. He says he’d like to see a temporary fix now and is working on a plan to bring a fully functional aquatic enter to Hollister in the future.

Sources: Sonora High School’s Pool Stalled By Lawsuit Over Bond Language; Outdated equipment closes pool at San Benito High School