Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

November 2, 2007

Manistee High School to get pool

It will be available for student, community use

MANISTEE -- A pool wasn't part of the blueprints for Manistee High School, but the goal someday was to add one.

So administrators were overjoyed when a Manistee couple recently announced plans to donate a pool for school and community use.

"It'll be a great addition," Manistee Area Public Schools Superintendent Robert Olsen said. "We're so excited about it."

The pool will be located near the gym on the east side of the high school and will be run in a joint-operating agreement between the school district and city leaders. The city will contribute up to $45,000 a year for maintenance, Olsen said.

Bill Paine and his wife, Marty, have given back to the community for years and offered the pool after recognizing it had been an unfulfilled need for years.

"Most of us want to make our communities a better place," Paine said. "We have many children in our county who never learned how to swim."

Olsen said he would like the pool used by swim teams and open for morning laps, as well as to offer swimming lessons and drown-prevention courses to Manistee students.

The pool's design is undetermined, but Paine said he wants to build it large enough to hold competitive swimming and diving events.

The final design should be completed this winter, and he anticipates breaking ground this spring.

Cost figures are not yet available.

The district will lease the school grounds to Paine, who will oversee construction before returning the pool to the school, Olsen said.

"He's taking all these ideas and he's designing the best facility for the community," Olsen said. "It's my hope that it will be used all the time."

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