The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Swimmers settle contract dispute

Sigma+Swimmers+founder+and+head+coach+Andrew+Ha+gives+students+instructions+over+technique+during+a+practice+session+Nov.+9+at+the+NW+pool.
Sigma Swimmers founder and head coach Andrew Ha gives students instructions over technique during a practice session Nov. 9 at the NW pool. Photo by Tom Woessner/The Collegian

By Dylan Bradley/campus editor

The Sigma Swimmers are back in the pool.

After meeting with members of the TCC board of trustees and administrators, the program will pay the same rate it paid during its 2016-17 rental agreement. That rate is effective through December and then will change to a month-to-month contract at the same rate until the board announces a uniform rental cost, head coach Andrew Ha said Nov. 6 in an email to parents of program participants.

“We’re very appreciative,” said Tara Blair, who has two sons in the program. “Getting that resolved has been a tremendous, positive thing.”

In September, the program attempted to renew their rental contract for the 2017-18 year, but the price increased from $44,850 for the 2016-17 year to $557,200. Unable to pay the full contract, Ha signed a temporary rental contract for $46,900 to use the facilities September through December.

Swimmers take to the lanes to practice their technique for Sigma Six Swim Club Nov. 9 on NW Campus.
Swimmers take to the lanes to practice their technique for Sigma Six Swim Club Nov. 9 on NW Campus.
Photo by Tom Woessner/The Collegian

The rate increase was the result of a districtwide assessment of areas available to the community and the timing of the Sigma Swimmers’ contract renewal, TCC’s communication and external affairs vice chancellor Reginald Gates said.

“We’ve been doing assessments across the district, all of our areas that we lease to community partners, and the different costs associated with running those operations,” Gates said. “It was because Northwest was the first for us to start utilizing the new rates. There were no other pending contracts at the other campuses. The other campuses were more on a month-to-month basis, and the renewal for Sigma came up at that time.”

Once the assessment is complete, rental rates will be uniform across the district, Gates said.

Sigma Six Swim Club members work on technique during practice Nov. 9 on NW Campus. Sigma offers both competitive swimming opportunities as well as swimming lessons to those in the community.
Sigma Six Swim Club members work on technique during practice Nov. 9 on NW Campus. Sigma offers both competitive swimming opportunities as well as swimming lessons to those in the community.
Photo by Tom Woessner/The Collegian

“We were told that the board of trustees is going to meet, and they are going to set a standard hourly rate that’s going to be throughout all campuses,” Blair said.

A long-term contract is the goal, she said.

“We want to continue our longstanding working relationship with TCC,” she said. “I would hope that the board would do the proper due diligence and they would gather the necessary data and look at all of the rates being charged not only at TCC campuses but also at area pools, so that they know what is a fair rate.”

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