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Shafter Pool construction continues, offers hope to swimmers around the area

Shafter Pool construction continues, offers hope to swimmers around the area
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 04, 2024

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — As the Shafter Aquatic Center Construction continues, 23ABC spoke to community members about what this pool means to them and how excited they are to see it back in the future.

  • In late May, the City of Shafter posted an update on construction timelines for projects that have either started around the city or are slated to start in the future. The post got us thinking, about what having the City pool back means for residents in the area, namely Shafter High School swimmers.
  • 23ABC spoke with Shafter High School swim coach Larissa Davis and swimmer Giada Rodriguez about the prospect of having the pool back, and both noted they're excited to see it back.
  • Currently, the Shafter High School swim team travels from the high school to Independence High School for their practices regularly in season, which adds a substantial amount of time to their schedule. Rodriguez noted she's looking forward to having the pool back to cut down on the extended travel and provide a place for the community to enjoy.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

I'm Sam Hoyle, your Shafter neighborhood reporter, as we close in on the deadline for Clean California Grant Projects, one Shafter project will take a little longer. Can you guess which one it is? I'll give you a hint.

The City of Shafter requested and received an extension on the Shafter Aquatic Center's pool project earlier this year and now has until the end of 2024 to complete the project which lines up neatly with the start of the next Shafter High School swim season.

Swim Coach Larissa Davis said since the pool's closure, the swim program at the high school has stagnated, part of the the reason is the lack of a competitive youth swim program in the area and travel requirements for student-athletes getting to practice.

However, with the re-opening, Davis says she hopes that the city can come together and help the swimming community in Shafter build back up to what it was.

"I'm really happy to see that the town of Shafter sees value in the swimming pool, I know they're -- I know it's an expensive project, but that just means that they really do see a purpose and a value in the program, in Shafter High School's swim team and bringing it back to the community as a place for families to come and enjoy their summer time," said Davis.

Giada Rodriguez will head into her third year of swimming next spring and said it's a hefty commitment, but she's excited about the prospect of cutting out the extra travel so she can focus on school and swimming.

"It's so hard every day, knowing that I still have to go to school and then still have to make the travel out to Bakersfield and then still have to come home so that does tend to make my spring season feel a little bit longer than my winter and my fall season which is exciting because then I know that in the spring the pool is only not even 5 minutes away, so it will make my days a little bit shorter."

According to a Facebook post from the City of Shafter updating the timelines for various construction projects throughout the city, the pools at the Shafter Aquatic Center will be done by December of this year.


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