A feasibility study has drowned plans for an $8.5 million aquatic and recreation complex at Dos Pueblos High School, but a smaller renovation and pool construction project is still set to leave Goletans and students splashing in delight.

The study, carried out by the Channel Islands YMCA, a partner in the original recreational complex plan, determined that the $8.5 million dollar price tag was too expensive to be supported by community donations, especially in a declining statewide economy.

However, the South Coast Community Aquatic Center (SCCAC), a nonprofit organization, has refocused its efforts on a $1.4 million renovation of the existing Dos Pueblos High School pool and the addition of a new 34-meter by 25-yard pool on 1.8 acres of Dos Pueblos High land. The SCCAC was formed in 2001 by parents and school officials to build an aquatic center to relieve overcrowding pressure at the aging Dos Pueblos pool – the only public pool in Goleta.

Jim Kuga, SCCAC president, said the current Dos Pueblos pool, which measures 17 by 25 yards, has suffered from expensive maintenance problems related to aging filtration and heating systems.

“The pool is over 40 years old,” Kuga said. “Basically, it’s dying.”

Kuga said the renovations and new pool would increase the number of school-related aquatic programs that can be offered, as well as the number of community-based swimming and water polo clubs that will have the opportunity to meet.

“The existing pool facility simply cannot meet the demands of our outstanding aquatic athletes,” Dos Pueblos High School Principal Dave Cash said. “We anticipate strong support from the community to develop a great shared resource.”

Kuga said Measure V, passed by Santa Barbara County voters in March 2000, allocated money to three area high schools for modernization and new construction. Dos Pueblos received $700,000 for aquatic repairs and new construction.

Kuga said the SCCAC hopes to match the bond money through fund-raising efforts. The organization has already contributed $80,000 toward their $700,000 goal.

In addition to the pool construction at Dos Pueblos High, Measure V will also pay for an auditorium and stadium that were removed from the school’s original construction plan in 1966 as a result of budget constraints.