Why PRFO is raising $2 million for the new Piedmont Pool project

What is this about?

After nearly 60 years, the Piedmont Community Pool was permanently closed in 2020.  The Pool was an essential part of the community providing a safe and healthy place for use for families as well as PUSD athletics. Piedmont now has the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art aquatics facility which will support the City’s commitment to providing safe and healthy facilities and provide a generational cornerstone for the Piedmont community.  BUT we need your help. 

Piedmont voters approved a $19.5 million bond measure in 2020, so why is private funding now needed?

In November 2020, with more than two-thirds of the vote, Piedmonters approved Measure UU, a $19.5 million bond measure to pay for the renovation and enhancement of the Piedmont Community Pool. In 2021, ELS Architecture and Urban Design was awarded the contract for the project. Using the 2017 conceptual master plan as a springboard, ELS led our community through a design process, and in January 2022 the City Council approved the new concept. However, since Measure UU passed, hyperinflation has driven up labor and material costs significantly. Earlier this year, the scope of the Pool building design was substantially revised to reduce the overall costs by $4 million. But construction costs continue to be high, and we currently anticipate a $2 million shortfall. Without raising additional private funds, we will have to forgo key elements of the facility.

What is PRFO?

Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization (www.prfo.org) is a 501c-3 organization founded in partnership with the City to support the development and improvement of public recreational facilities serving Piedmont residents. In its public-private collaboration with the City of Piedmont, PRFO’s recent projects have included raising over $450,000 for the renovation of the Corey Reich Tennis Center in 2019, and additionally PRFO raised over $850,000 for the renovation of Hampton Park in 2017. Once again, PRFO is proud to partner with the City to make the Piedmont Community Pool a reality. 

Why can’t I donate directly to the City?

The City can accept donations, but it does not have the staff resources to manage large numbers of individual donors. As a 501(c)(3) with enthusiastic volunteers, PRFO is able to assist the City with this important effort. 

Why donate when the community is already contributing through Measure UU?
The Piedmont Community Pool Project has created the blueprints for a state-of-the-art aquatic center equipped to serve residents long into the future. If we are able to meet one-time fundraising targets for this capital campaign, people of all ages will benefit for generations to come. Whether through swim lessons, sports and fitness, or simply using the space to relax and unwind, the new design suits a wide range of needs. The Piedmont Community Pool is an investment in Piedmont. Piedmonters are very fortunate to live in a unique community that has the resources to continually evolve and improve. Completion of the new Community Pool will be yet another example of how the community can come together to enhance the quality of life in Piedmont.

What will the additional privately raised funds be used for?

Additional funds will be used to provide the following essential features in and around both pools:

The Competition Pool funds will support:  Regulation length and depth for water polo play; A diving well with two diving boards; A scoreboard and timing system; Sports lighting; Starting blocks; Toe ledges.

Recreation Pool amenities requiring additional funding include three standard-length lap lanes, an expansive shallow area for play and swim lessons and a poolside room for parties and gatherings.

Essential features will not be part of the complex without your support. 

Why can’t the City fund the shortfall from general funds?

The City relies on general funds to conduct its routine activities, including repairing sidewalks, maintaining parks and other public spaces. At present, the City does not have extra funds available for a major capital project such as this one.

When is the deadline to raise the additional funds?

Funding needs to be secured by mid-October.  The City is now in the position where they will not be able to sign the final contract with the builder until it has sufficient funds for the entire revised project. 

What will happen to the pool if we cannot raise the $2 million?

If we do not raise the $2 million, the Piedmont Community Pool Project will continue, but specific essential features will be value-engineered out of the scope. Rather than three standard-length lap lanes in the Activity Pool, for example, we may only be able to afford two.

Will the facility still be all-electric?

The new Piedmont Community Pool is designed to be fully electric. Funding for this design will not come from Measure UU nor from the PRFO fundraising campaign. There is a separate fundraising effort to pay for the increased construction costs for all-electric heating.  

When is construction scheduled to begin? When will the new facility open?
The City plans to break ground on the new Piedmont Community Pool before the end of 2022. We currently remain on track to open the facility by summer 2024.

Will the new facility be open to non-Piedmont residents? What will be the fee for an Annual Pass?

The new facility will be open to residents of Piedmont and the general public.  Piedmont residents will receive priority and discounts for all fees and associated programs. The fee structure is yet to be determined and will ultimately be set by the City Council.

What oversight is in place to ensure that the bond and privately raised funds are used properly?
Measure UU provided that a bond oversight committee be appointed to make sure the bonds are issued and spent in accordance with the terms of Measure UU. This committee was established by the City Council in December 2021 and will continue to meet, review and report on the expenditure of the proceeds of the bonds until the expenditure of the bond proceeds is complete.  As with any project, staff and the City Council work to ensure the proper use of public funds. The project is also subject to the City’s project risk management policy which has expenditure safeguards in place. 

How can I learn more or donate?
Visit www.PRFO.org to learn more or to donate. Please contact PRFO Fundraising Committee member, Eric Havian at erichavian@gmail.com with additional questions.

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