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Members of the Olean Board of Education, their families and the school district's management team were among the first to use the newly completed Olean Middle School swimming pool at an informal gathering Wednesday night.

District Superintendent Ralph Kerr said Thursday that about 35 people attended the event. Snacks and an optional swim were offered, and the board was formally thanked in a speech given by Kerr.

"Those folks that hadn't seen it were awestruck," Kerr said of the general reaction to the district's first swimming pool.

He said the general public will be invited to tour the pool at an open house to mark the completion of a $29.9 million middle school reconstruction project. The open house will begin at 3 p.m. Nov. 27. The public viewing will be preceded by a 1 p.m. ribbon cutting and dedication, and tours at 2 for dignitaries guided by students.

Kerr said the district's management team planned the party a couple of weeks ago to celebrate Board Recognition Week and to provide board members who had not seen the completed facility a firsthand look.

The pool was opened on a limited basis this month for use by the swimming team to practice for two meets. Swimming classes will begin Monday, Kerr said.

Free community swimming could be scheduled in November, after maintenance and pool management functions are running smoothly, and may be scheduled for early morning and one evening per week.

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