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Old Posted Nov 14, 2007, 7:03 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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SA: Northside wants venue tax to fund an elite pool

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/met...l.2b5cbe9.html

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Northside wants venue tax to fund an elite pool

Web Posted: 11/13/2007 11:48 PM CST

Jenny LaCoste-Caputo
Express-News

San Antonio's largest school district has joined the lengthening line of entities clamoring for a piece of Bexar County's venue tax.

Northside Independent School District, the fourth largest in Texas, wants $10 million in public funding to build a world-class Olympic competition-sized outdoor pool with stadium seating for 2,400 spectators and room for 1,200 athletes and 400 coaches.

The University of Texas at San Antonio and St. Mary's University already have asked to be considered for funding for athletic facilities, but Northside is the first K-12 school system to lay claim to the money.

The venue tax — the hotel and car rental tax that paid for the AT&T Center — is set to expire in 2012 and Bexar County commissioners want voters to extend it.

The new revenue would pay for projects in four categories: river improvements, a cultural center, upgrades to the AT&T Center and rodeo grounds, and regional amateur sports complexes.

Northside Superintendent John Folks made the pitch on Tuesday to the athletics facilities committee, a group of citizens tasked with forwarding recommendations to commissioners. Northside wants to build the stadium adjacent to the Northside Natatorium off Loop 1604, next to the district's Dub Farris football stadium.

If the county approves the proposal, Folks said Northside's board of trustees would ask voters in a proposed 2010 bond issue to approve building a new $3 million diving/warm-up pool between the outdoor stadium and the existing $15.2 million natatorium, creating what Northside officials have dubbed the San Antonio National Aquatics Center.

"We think we could attract a lot of attention and a lot of swim meets," Folks said.

George Block, Northside's assistant director of athletics, said the swim center could attract major national, regional and international swim competitions.

According to USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming, only three other centers of its kind exist — two in California and one in Florida. The facility could host much larger meets than Bexar County's current competitive swimming facilities, which include two in Northside, one in North East ISD and the Palo Alto Natatorium.

In a letter of endorsement, Charles J. Wielgus, executive director of USA Swimming, said Northside could expect to host five large regional and national meets per year. Block said that could draw 8,000 visitors to San Antonio for each meet.


Mike Sculley, a county consultant working with the committee, said those are the kinds of numbers committee members should take into consideration.

"It's about tourism," Sculley said. "It's about bringing people to San Antonio."

Bexar County commissioners are projecting the tax will bring in roughly $300 million, so they're considering funding $75 million worth of projects in each category. The athletic facilities committee already has listened to eight proposals, with eight more on their agenda, including UTSA's eye-popping $50 million request for a facility that would have baseball, softball, track and field, soccer and tennis, plus a practice site for a potential football team.

Folks said Northside has no plans to build the outdoor stadium without county help. The conceptual plans for the aquatic center already existed as part of the district's participation in San Antonio's unsuccessful 2002 bid for the 2007 Pan American games.

Folks said he couldn't imagine Northside's board of trustees spending tax dollars earmarked for education to build the pool, but didn't rule out the possibility of other funding sources, such as donors.

"You give us $8 million — we'll talk," he told committee members. "But we want 10."

Commissioners must make a decision on which projects they want to fund before the end of the year.
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2007, 5:00 PM
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Dom"n"Converse Dom"n"Converse is offline
Hmmm....
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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The city should give that money to UTSA, having 8000 people come to S.A. isn't significant when compaired to the possibilities that UTSA has. I think the money should be spent on something that city as a whole could use or take part in.
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2007, 7:57 PM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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10 million isn't much for such a facility. I say go for it.
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 4:26 PM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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NISD says it will be almost identical to this one:



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