Cutler-Orosi Aquatic Complex plunges ahead

The concrete base of the public community pool on the west side of the Cutler-Orosi Aquatic Complex is shown during a tour of the Orosi Aquatics Complex site on June 20. The district hopes to have construction on the facility completed by December, or in time for the start of the school’s swim season in early 2025.(Jon Earnest)

New swim facility for Orosi High School and community continues to take shape, remains on track to be open for the start of 2025 swim season

OROSI – The future Cutler-Orosi Aquatic Complex is gradually becoming a reality, and will provide an oasis for Orosi High swimmers and the community starting next year.

The facility, at the site of the school’s old varsity baseball diamond on the west-central side of campus, remains on track to be open for Orosi High’s swim season in early 2025 according to Raffi Soghomonian, director of facilities/transportation operations for the Cutler Orosi Joint Unified School District.

A tour of the facility on June 20 showed that the concrete base for the main competition pool and adjacent community pool and wading area already has been poured. The main entrance building is under construction, with a dirt surface still covering areas that eventually will include a shaded performing stage, trees and foliage.

But by next spring, the aquatic complex and a 100 to 150-vehicle parking lot to the immediate south will be ready for use as part of the first phase of planned expansion by COJUSD. Those projects include an under-construction Performing Arts Center (east-central area of campus) and the two-year Cutler Elementary Modernization Project.

Soghomonian said the swim facility is a key piece to a 10-year modernization plan envisioned by Superintendent Yolanda Valdez.

“In the long term, this will be the hub of the community,” he said. “The pool, full gym, performing arts center, parking lot.” Soghomonian said Valdez challenged district officials to come up with the plan, which is being funded as state and grant money becomes available.

The aquatic complex and the initial phase of the Performing Arts Center (band room, choir room and stage) is the main work under way on campus, and beams also are ready to be placed for a solar project that will increase OHS power capacity.

Once completed, the new pools will provide a state-of-the-art swim facility for high school athletes along with community pool access for the general public. The facility itself will feature two sets of covered bleachers for spectators flanking each end of the main pool along with one open bank of bleachers.

Spectators will enter the complex through a main covered entrance that leads into a central plaza between the two pools adorned by the Orosi High School logo. The inside plaza area includes a covered stage for performances and many small shaded table areas.

During a groundbreaking ceremony in June 2023, Valdez called the complex “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.”

The project had an initial completion date of November, but Soghomonian said officials hope to have work completed in December. In 2025, it will be ready for competition and community use to realize the mission, Valdez said during the 2023 groundbreaking.

“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,” she said.

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