Familiar waters

TISD to lease, renovate TC Pinkerton Center


Photo by Holland Rainwater

TISD plans to renovate the Pinkerton center to accommodate the Texas High swim team. The Texarkana College board of trustees voted against continuing operations of the pool in the spring.

Story by Anna Grace Jones and Connor Powell

TISD authorized the lease of Texarkana College’s Pinkerton Center during a school board meeting on Sept. 18.

Approval of a 30-year lease agreement with Texarkana College for their Aquatic Center will begin Jan. 1, 2019 and end on Dec. 31, 2048. This lease, in the amount of $10 annually along with other good and valuable considerations per year paid in it, will place interior building maintenance and renovation costs with TISD in order for them to continue their successful state award-winning TigerSharks swim program.

“Texarkana College [had] made the decision to close their aquatic center due to facility conditions and renovation costs,“ superintendent Paul Norton said. “Knowing the importance of the pool to the TISD swim program, TC trustees offered TISD the opportunity to lease the facility and absorb renovation costs.”

In a review of the plan of financing the aquatic center renovations, Doug Whitt, senior managing director for SAMCO Capital Markets, shared with the board the funding options for the estimated $2 million project. Costs for the renovation can be funded through Time Warrant financing up to $1 million with the remaining funds covered through a maintenance tax note.

“The renovations are way past due. Everything is pretty old and run-down, so I think it’ll be really cool to see how they change it,” junior Max Young said. “I can’t wait to spend my senior year swimming in a brand new pool.”

With TISD trustees anticipating approval of funding during the Oct. 16, 2018 regular session, renovation would begin in January 2019 and be completed by late summer 2019. The TISD swim program would find an alternative facility for practice sessions during the construction period.

“I have mixed feelings about [swimming at St. Michael’s] this summer. I haven’t swam much in outdoor pools other than at swim camps, so it’ll be a new experience,” junior Haley Wood said. “I’m excited to see how it’ll be. Maybe it’ll make me more excited to get up at 5:30 a.m. I think it’ll be a fun adventure to embark on.”

Other aspects of the agreement allows TISD to terminate the lease with a 12-month written notice and gives naming opportunity on the exterior as the TISD Aquatic Center.

“I think [all the changes] are going to be a motivator for us to take more pride in our swim team. I’m grateful for the Pinkerton Center,” Wood said. “I’m thankful that TC lets us use it, and I think the renovations will help a lot with the atmosphere and helping us reach our best potential.”