BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
An attempt by the San Mateo County Community College District board to get an independent opinion about the contractor who runs the College of San Mateo’s gym and pool has gone nowhere, but an administrator is asking the board tonight (June 10) to extend the contractor’s contract anyway.
The board had requested in March that a third party conduct an analysis of the district’s partnership with contractor EXOS and see if the gym could be run in-house, run by another party, or if EXOS is indeed the best contractor for the job.
But because of COVID-19, and the havoc it has wreaked on the fitness industry, it’s been difficult to assess options or develop a “sufficient pool” of other gym operators who might want the job, said a report from Auxillary and Community Services Vice Chancellor Tom Bauer.
Because of the difficulties caused by COVID-19, Bauer proposes that the board extend EXOS’s contract for a year and do the study later.
The district’s board will discuss Bauer’s report tonight (June 10).
However, the district’s new gym at Canada College in Redwood City is set to open next year. At the March meeting, the board briefly discussed whether EXOS ought to run the new gym at Canada College.
New scrutiny has been brought to the Canada gym after more than a dozen students, teachers and residents spoke at and attended a November board meeting where they outlined their issues with the new gym and EXOS.
At the meeting, board member Richard Holober agreed with the members of the Kinesiology, Athletics and Dance Department members, saying that the project had been “hijacked.”
Department members at the November meeting voiced their concerns to the board about the new 105,916-square-foot gym being built at the Redwood City campus.
According to plans for the Canada project, 25,685-square feet are reserved for academic space, 11,379-square feet are reserved just for the private gym and 68,732-square feet will be shared by students and the athletic club members.
The concerns raised over the Canada gym are reminiscent of the controversy that engulfed the opening of a private health club at the CSM gym some 10 years ago. Residents at that time objected to use of tax dollars for a gym that was offering memberships to the community.
The college board will meet Wednesday (June 10) at 6 p.m. and the meeting can be live-streamed at https://smccd.zoom.us/j/95873594919