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Outrage over Rock Island High School's unusable pool sparks conversations at board meeting

Over a dozen parents shared their concerns during the public comment portion of the board meeting regarding the dire state of the high school pool.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Dozens of parents, residents and coaches flooded Rock Island School District's Board Meeting Tuesday night, bringing their concerns about the unusable pool inside of the high school.

The pool has been out of commission for about a year. Right now, swimmers and coaches travel between three different practice locations throughout the week. 

RELATED: Rock Island High School swim teams struggle with continued pool closure, parents speak out

The practice schedule resulted in late school nights according to former swim club coach and father of current swimmer Randy Veys.

"My daughter gets up to school more in the morning. Practice, go to school, homework, practice just to get home at 9:30 at night," Veys said. "If anything, the swim program gives Rock Island kids the opportunity to learn how to not drown. If that's not important to you, great." 

"I'm under the understanding that because you delayed that decision now, [the pool] isn't going to be ready for next year also. So we are missing another school year," Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms said as he chimed in at the board meeting, pointing out that the delayed decision already pushed the possibility of a working pool.

"I have some grandkids in the swim team, swim competitively for Rock Island, now having to do their lessons and swimming with everybody else in East Moline," Mayor Thoms said. "We moved such obstacles. We work too hard to get people to live here. We can't be the only school not to have a usable pool here."

Other parents and staff shared the same concerns:

"Our kids are having senior night at Moline, our biggest rival," one said.

"It is not equitable to expect parents and students to drive off campus for early morning and evening practices," another noted.

"Practice starts right now. I'm going to head there after this and I wont get home until 9:30 or 10 and then I'm back at this school teaching math all day," another said.

After the public comment portion, one board member said they will be adding the pool to their next meeting agenda. 

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