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Monday, February 15, 2010

Private firm will operate Taylor Pool

By Matt Brabb
Mogollon Connecton Editor

The Payson town council approved a measure that will turn over the operations of Taylor Pool to EVO Swim School, a private company, in a move that will save the town some $64,000 annually.

EVO asserts that the partnership between the town and the company will provide Olympic caliber training and aquatic instruction. They promise to provide a place where children and adults can learn to swim, exercise, and participate in aquatic sports and recreation right here in the community. The programs they will provide include a swim team, swimming lessons, open swim, water aerobics, lap swim, and pool parties.

The school is owned and operated by David Tait, who is an accomplished athlete in the sport. He was a three-time state champion and state record holder, a Junior National Champion, Senior National qualifier, and competitor at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials. He has over 15 years of experience teaching children, teenagers, and adults how to swim. Tait is also the director of the Rio Salado Swim Club, one of the largest competitive clubs in the state.

EVO will take over the personnel and programming expenses at Taylor pool which will save the town approximately $64,000 annually. They will be responsible for staffing the pool and vow to provide the highest quality for all of the town’s aquatic programs.

“Every effort will be made to staff the pool using local lifeguards,” said Tait.

EVO Swim School currently manages a 10,000 square foot indoor facility in Gilbert, as well as an outdoor pool in Queen Creek.

There will be some changes to the fees paid for activities at the pool. While the public swim rate will be reduced from $3 to $2, there will be some significant increases to other programs. The cost to join the swim team will go from $50 to $75, and prices for swimming lessons will double.

However, Tait maintains that a student will learn “more in one or two EVO lessons than they can get out of a summer’s worth of municipal lessons.”

Councilor Su Connell was a strong proponent of the new arrangement, calling it a wonderful public-private relationship after questioning Tait on whether or not the staff would be hired locally, and verifying that lifeguard certifications would be completed in a timely manner by the town before the swimming season opened.

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