Sunday, December 16, 2007

Swimming Pools & Skating Rinks

Something we have noticed is that just about every school in Alaska seems to have an ice skating rink, and a large number of them have swimming pools. I'm not sure why they all have skating rinks, but some of them are quite impressive, with boards all around the sides, benches for skaters and bleachers for spectators. The kids came home from school in high excitement on Friday because McNeil Canyon School's skating rink was up, so the kids got to spend their 40 minute lunch recess ice skating. The school has 50 pairs of ice skates, so nearly everyone who wants to can skate. The principal hot mops the rink so it is nice and smooth. Unlike most schools where they have the nice boards around the rink, McNeil's ice is just held in by plowed snow.

There are very few public swimming pools. Since the boroughs own and build the schools (borough's are kind of like counties), they just build swimming pools in the high schools. Since so many schools are K-12, then there is a pool in the K-12 school. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has one full time person in the district who handles chemicals for all the pools. At one point recently the State of Alaska was looking at requiring a swimming class for every high school student in the state. Luckily, that got nixed, but they wouldn't have even considered it if so many schools didn't have pools.

No comments: