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New North Bay High School Pool Comes With No Water; Former Student To The Rescue

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ST. HELENA (CBS SF) — A North Bay high school is close to putting the finishing touches on a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art swimming pool, with one exception – there is no water available to fill it because of the drought. But now, a former student is stepping up to provide a solution.

St. Helena High School’s $4.6 million pool was approved by voters with bond measures. What was not approved was how it was going to get filled.

“The City decided they did not want to give us water because of the drought,” said St. Helena Union School District Superintendent Bob Ferguson. “The bottom line is we need water in the pool and one would think the pool would come with water.”

St. Helena acting City Manager Toby Ross said the city’s current water emergency precludes any use of water for pools. “Filling pools is not the highest priority use when we are in these kinds of restrictions,” said Ross.

A plan to possibly truck the water in was scrapped after the school district found out it would involve more than 100 tanker trucks of water to fill the 576,000-gallon pool.

But half a mile away, Harold Smith Construction owner Pam Raybould said she heard about the school’s plight, and – as a former St. Helena Saint – decided to help her alma mater.

Raybould said her property has a large well, which will be put to use to fill the St. Helena pool.

“We put a pump in it, some piping across to the high school, we can fill that pool,” said Raybould.

Raybould said it would take about two weeks to fill the pool from her well.

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