It may be cold outside but if you live in Port Jefferson and you’re thinking of taking a swim, you can now do it. After initially taking the programs out of its budget, the announced that it re-opened its fitness center and pool to residents of Port Jefferson, at half the original cost, according to a statement issued by the school on Tuesday.
“Budget planning last spring eliminated funding for operation of the fitness center and pool to the community,” the district said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “However, strong community feedback encouraged the Board to direct the administration to revisit possible avenues for resident use during the 2011-2012 school year.”
With its eye of cutting costs, the school originally took the program out of the budget. Running the pool and fitness programs ran the school district about $31,000 per year. School Board President Mark Doyle said that over the summer the board was presented with a petition to re-open the fitness room at one of its meetings.
“Dr. Bossert (Superintendent of Schools) and Mr. Leister (Assistant Superintendent for Business) were able to come up with a plan to staff both the fitness room and the pool at considerable cost savings (less than half the costs from previous years),” said Doyle. “The Board felt that, although we are quite concerned about any additional spending, it would be beneficial to re-open these facilities to the wider community.”
The district says it was able to reduce the cost by 50 percent by “decreasing the rate of pay and hours of operation.” To fund even these reduced costs, the district then took savings from other areas of the budget to open the program up for the remainder of the school year.
While $15,000 would cover the entire school year, the district says that it estimates the cost from January until June will be $8,500.
Village residents can take advantage of the fitness center in the Monday through Thursday between the hours of 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. while school is in session. The swimming pool is located in the and will open Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. In addition, the district said that elementary school students can practice their swimming skills every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
A valid photo identification is required to show proof of residency to use the pool and fitness center.