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The St. Vrain Valley school board on Wednesday unanimously approved the architect contract to design a district pool proposed for Longmont’s Silver Creek High School, giving a green light to the project.

The contract was awarded to Cuningham Group Architects for $704,335, with a maximum amount of $880,000.

The plan is for an $8 million, eight-lane pool with a dive well and bleachers, a size that allows for competitions as well as practice. The pool could be used for swim practices, swim meets, physical education classes, swim lessons, water safety classes and scuba diving training.

District officials said the pool is needed because the capacity of the community pools used by the district’s swim teams is limited, while more students are signing up to swim competitively.

“The reality is we could use more than one pool in St. Vrain,” Superintendent Don Haddad said. “This is a great start.”

The district will pay for the pool using about $6.5 million in interest generated on revenue from 2016’s $260 million capital construction bond issue, $1 million in unspent bond money and $500,000 to $1 million from the general fund.

Maintenance costs are expected to largely be covered by revenue generated by swim meets, concessions and summer community use.

The plan is for construction to start in October, with the pool set to open a year later. While the school board approved the contract for the pool’s design, the board will still need to vote to start construction once the design is completed.