The Gaithersburg mayor and City Council approved Monday a resolution to contribute funds to aid Montgomery County Public Schools in structural repairs at the Gaithersburg Aquatic Center.
The city will contribute up to half of the cost — $300,000 out of a total $600,000 — for repairs that include failing structural columns and corroding steel elements, such as steel floor joists and railings.
MCPS, which is responsible for maintaining the structure, does not have enough funds in the budget to pay for the repairs itself. Without help from the city, it could take a few years before repairs can be completed, Gaithersburg Director of Public Works Jim Arnoult said at a Council meeting Monday night.
Council Member Jud Ashman expressed his concern with setting a precedent that Gaithersburg will step up to help financially in situations like this in the future.
"It's a tough precedent for us to contribute to what MCPS is supposed to be taking care of," Ashman said. He later added that, "MCPS has a much, much larger budget than [Gaithersburg], but here we are splitting [the cost]."
Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz, supporting the resolution, said the precedent had been set in the city before, with Gaithersburg fronting money on many occasions.
"We need to have this done," Katz said.
Once funding is approved by the city and Board of Education, the repair work is estimated to take approximately six months, MCPS spokesperson Gboyinde Onijala said.
The aquatic center is housed in Gaithersburg Middle School.