Sonoma Valley Health and Recreation Association was founded in 2000 by a group of Valley residents who shared a dream of qualifying a local ballot measure to build a community swimming pool here in Sonoma. When their efforts fell short, the organization dispersed the funds they raised to various athletic projects in Sonoma Valley, including building a fifth tennis court at Maxwell Park and resurfacing the Schantz Track at Sonoma Valley High School.
In 2011, city council members Ken Brown and Tom Rouse brought together a small group of dedicated residents to develop a new plan to build a community aquatic facility in Sonoma Valley. This new group dubbed as Citizens United for a Sonoma Pool (CUSP) quickly realized that the best model for realizing this dream was to form a privately funded nonprofit organization.
In 2012, the SVHRA board and the CUSP board merged and formalized their effort to build a multi-use, community pool. The first action of the new board was to commission a survey to gauge Sonoma’s interest for such a facility. The results were overwhelmingly positive and spurred SVHRA to further action.
In 2013, the prestigious, United States Swimming Association (USSA) chose SVHRA for an in-house “Build-a-Pool” conference, providing an enterprise business plan to build and operate a modern aquatic facility. In September 2013, SVHRA launched Sonoma Splash, a collaborative effort to build a broad base of support for a local, Sonoma-based multi-use aquatic facility.
2014 continued that momentum going into contract on a unique piece of property at 175 Verano Avenue in Sonoma. The community rallied behind the project to raise enough funds to close escrow on Halloween. Local architecture firm, RossDrulisCusenbery came on board as master architects, coupling with Aquatic Design Group as the aquatic designers for the project. With design input from USSA and the local community, they developed a two-pool approach that maximizes potential use while ensuring economic sustainability.
In 2018, SVHRA and the Sonoma Valley Unified School District agreed to combine efforts to build a joint pool complex located at the Sonoma Valley High School rather than building a separate community pool on the Verano Avenue site. Using combined District and SVUSD funds to serve both student and community aquatic needs, we are able to realize the dream of a first-rate Sonoma Valley aquatic complex. Current forecast is to break ground at the high school site in August 2021 and to open the pool by June 1, 2022.