Swim lessons at Taylor Pool took on a new look last summer with the highly acclaimed EVO Swim School and its owner David Tait taking over the program.
In previous years, the town parks and recreation department managed Taylor throughout the summer, but in the spring of 2010, Tait made an offer to take over full operation of the popular summer aquatic respite.
At the time, he predicted EVO could save the town about $65,000 in costs, release a full-time employee for other duties, all the while improving the level of swim lesson instruction and streamlining the operations to be more efficient.
Under the management of EVO, the 2010 swim season at Taylor seemed to go off without a hitch.
But last fall, the Payson Town Council faced a dilemma — shut Taylor Pool this summer or give EVO Aquatics a two-year contract to keep it open.
At a Thursday council meeting, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Cameron Davis asked to approve a $42,850 annual contract with EVO to again manage Taylor.
“The town is responsible for the facility maintenance and operation expenses, which will run $42,850 annually,” wrote Davis in his request.
“Bear in mind, if the town continued to fully operate Taylor Pool, the budget would have to be at least $103,400. Should the council choose not to move forward with this agreement, there would be insufficient funds in the 2011/2012 budget to operate the pool.”
Turning the pool over to EVO Aquatics on a renewable two-year contract is expected to save the town about $30,000 annually.
On board again
The success Tait has had at the EVO swim school in Gilbert and running Taylor Pool last year seems to indicate the group is a capable management firm that provides top-rate programs to pool users.
EVO is an evolutionary learn-to-swim facility that offers instruction to infants, children, competitive swimmers and adults.
Tait says EVO’s primary goal is to teach children to be safe around water.
As instruction progresses, he says, new techniques are introduced with an emphasis on fun, safety, physical fitness and finally competitive swimming.
He says EVO has disciplined instruction that gives students a steady, consistent approach to understanding how to develop the correct habits in water.
An aspect of EVO that might strike home with parents fed up with their children playing video games is that children begin to understand the value of physical work and the persistence needed to succeed. Tait says that challenge creates an inward satisfaction not obtained in video games.
Based on Tait’s resume, he holds the pedigree needed to be a top-notch instructor.
He was a three-time state champion, a state record holder, a junior national champion, senior national qualifier and a competitor at the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials.
He also coached several high school swimmers to state, junior national and national success.
In addition to running EVO, he is the director of the Rio Salado Swim Club, one of the largest competitive clubs in the state.
In staffing Taylor Pool again this summer, Tait said he would hire all local employees — just as the P&R department once did — and train them in the EVO methods.
That’s good news for local high school and college students who depend on the summer employment.
For those interested in the lessons, calling EVO at 1-877-539-5009 can complete registration.
Students can enroll for a minimum of two weeks or the entire summer.
All lessons are conducted twice weekly and the fee is $12.50 per week.
Tait announced early this week that Taylor would open Memorial Day, May 30, and remain open through Thursday, June 2. It will reopen Saturday, June 4, but be closed Friday, June 3 and Sunday June 5.
During the open days, the pool will be available from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2.
In addition to swim lessons this summer, EVO will host a swim team, water aerobics and the pool will be available for rental and parties.