February 25, 2001
I received the following email today from "Cathie:"
QUESTION: What is the latest on the "rumor?" that the Richmond Plunge might be sold and turned into upscale health Club? That would be awful for the citizens of Richmond, like the seniors and the poor.
MY ANSWER: The Sports Management Group has been hired as a consultant by the City to study and make recommendations for future uses of the Plunge that would maximize its use by the community and also maximize potential income from its operation. One potential future use might include combining the aquatic uses with a more comprehensive health and fitness operation. Last year, several City Council and staff visited a "Plunge" is San Diego of about the same age as Richmond's facility. The City of San Diego leases it to a company that built an adjacent fitness facility. The swimming pool is operated under contract by the fitness company as a public facility similar to our Plunge but is also available to fitness club members as a part of their membership. My perception is that the cost to the public using it is comparable to our Plunge, but the City receives additional income because it is used more intensively. Some kind of public-private partnership may work well for the Plunge.
At any rate, there will be several public meetings involving the Sports Management Group to receive public input about future operation of the Plunge. You and other Plunge users will have multiple opportunities to make your opinions known and to ask questions. Any final decision is months away and involves a number of other factors including design and structural issues, historic preservation issues and funding.