The general public is often able to use school facilities, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, or oval running tracks, when the school isn’t using them, strengthening the connection between the schools and the community they serve, the Lake County News-Sun reports.
Dan Moran writes that he’s been running on high school tracks for years, this time at Waukegan High School north of Chicago, where a school staff member gladly welcomed his use of the track. “That should be not only the attitude but also the formal policy when it comes to the the six- or eight-lane ovals on taxpayer property. Throwing open your gates and inviting people to run or walk some laps not only promotes a healthier society but also fosters a stronger sense of community.”
In Massachusetts, the Milford High School Community School Use Program has even formalized how welcome community members are to use the swimming pool at the school, provided school’s open and it’s not being used for ordinary school activities or classes. They’ve posted hours and created season passes that people can purchase.
Community members can purchase a season pass or pay on an “as you use it” basis, with a maximum charge of $10 per family per day. A season pass costs $135 for adult residents.
Then, every day during the school year, lifeguards are on duty at all times. On Mondays, for example, the pool is open for lap swimming from 5:45–7:15 AM, water aerobics from 6:15–7:15 PM, and open or lap swimming from 7:30–9 PM. Other days have their own schedules, but a schedule is posted for every day of the week.
Mr Moran in Waukegan writes:
This isn’t people coming into a secure building to use a basketball court or a weight room or a science lab or anything else with equipment that can be broken or stolen. This isn’t allowing any district taxpayer to take home a laptop cart or grab the keys to a school bus.
This is inviting your community to run or walk on an outdoor surface that is more forgiving than asphalt and doesn’t involve conflicts with cars. For people who want to cover a specific distance while training for their bucket-list marathon or a charity 5K, a quarter-mile track does the math for them.
In unrelated sports news, officials in Los Angeles announced today that the city would host the 2028 Summer Olympics, having deferred on the 2024 games to Paris. “This opportunity is unprecedented,” the New York Times quoted Casey Wasserman, chairman of the city’s bid committee, as saying. “Never has an organizing committee had 11 years to prepare.”