The swimming and water polo programs at Royal and Simi high schools soon might be without a pool.
The Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District, faced with $1.2 million in budget cuts, has announced it no longer will be able to fund the approximately $100,000 annually to maintain the 50-meter pool at Rancho Simi Park, officials said Thursday.
The park district has informed the Simi Valley Unified School District that unless it can help foot the bill for maintenance, the pool will be drained in September.
Under the existing agreement, the school district pays an annual fee to the park district of approximately $40,000 to use the pool, school board member Doug Crosse said. But contributing any more money looks doubtful.
"Obviously, we don't have the funds, they don't have the funds," Crosse said. "At this point, we don't know what's going to come out of it. It's going to be a tough one to solve."
The dilemma is scheduled to be addressed May 11 at a joint meeting of the park and school districts, and the Simi Valley City Council.
Steve Snyder, the Royal water polo and swim coach, said school boosters would not be able to raise enough money to maintain the pool.
Snyder said the boosters raise between $9,000 and $12,000 annually for the school's aquatic programs.
"I think we have one of the strongest and hard-working booster groups in the county," Snyder said. "But $100,000? I don't think so."
Royal's programs have flourished under Snyder, coach of both programs since 1980. Royal has won 13 Marmonte League championships in water polo, and two league championships in both boys' and girls' swimming.
This month, Royal played host to one of the biggest swim meets in California--the 13th annual Royal Invitational. The meet attracted 1,109 competitors from 23 schools from throughout California.