OROSI – The long-awaited aquatic complex at Orosi High School took a big first step toward becoming reality on June 16, when Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the facility.
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history for Cutler-Orosi schools and Orosi High School as we embark on a remarkable journey towards providing our students, and the entire Cutler-Orosi community, with a state-of-the-art facility that will serve as a beacon of growth, opportunity and unity,” Yolanda Valdez, COJUSD superintendent said at the ceremony.
A group of 13 district leaders and persons instrumental in development of the complex participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking with shovels. The complex – which will feature an Olympic size swim pool and an adjoining L-shaped community pool – will be located north of Ed Coats Stadium and next to the tennis courts on the Orosi High campus.
“The Cutler-Orosi Aquatic Complex stands as a testament to our collective commitment to the well-being and success of all our students, and as a symbol of our unwavering dedication to providing them with the best possible educational experience and facilities,” Valdez said.
Construction of the new pool and amenities is expected to take 16 months. The facility will feature two sets covered bleachers for spectators flanking each end of the main pool along with one open bank of bleachers; a main covered entrance leading into a central plaza between the two pools adorned by the Orosi High School logo; a covered stage for performances and many small shaded table areas.
Valdez also shared the excitement of longtime high school alumni who remembered the initial project of a swimming pool complex on campus 45 years ago. She said she looks forward to experiencing and enjoying the new pool when its scheduled opening arrives in November 2024. FIrst competitive events will be scheduled to be held in spring 2025.
“At this moment, we recognize the incredible efforts of the many individuals who have worked tirelessly to turn this dream into a reality,” Valdez said. “To our visionary and tenacious school board members, the diligent staff, the talented architect in the district, and the engineers who have made significant contributions, we express our deepest gratitude. Without your unwavering support, this vision would not have come to fruition.”
Valdez also praised what she called the power of collaboration and community spirit. She said the pool facility not only will be where the Cardinals’ swim and water polo teams will participate, but also will be “a space where our entire community can come together, share in moments of triumph and joy, and create lasting memories. It will be a hub for friendly competition, camaraderie, and personal growth.”
It also will be a site where students will be taught how to swim and also learn and practice important water safety practices.
“This aquatic complex will be a source of inspiration, preparing [students] for the challenges and triumphs they will encounter in their journeys beyond our school’s walls,” Valdez said.
Eddie Valero, Tulare County District 4 supervisor representing the Orosi area, also spoke at the dedication. After remarks and presentations, a group of 13 moved shovels of dirt as a symbolic start of the construction project.