(Neb.)-Chadron May See Covered City Pool With Partner Chadron State Listen
(CHADRON)-The Chadron State College swimming pool is at the end of its life, according to CSC Administration & Finance Vice President Dale Grant. He said the college is committed to having a pool for its students, and yet the Armstrong pool is past refurbishing. That leaves the option of building a new pool, a costly project, or finding an alternate solution. He approached the Chadron city council last night with the idea of the college and the city joining forces to cover and recondition the city pool, which sits strategically across the street from CSC. Grant said if the council was interested, he would begin formulating a proposal that would incorporate a plan for the pool that would benefit both institutions.
Councilmember Jim Mapes asked if there were any downsides to the seemingly advantageous agreement. Grant said he didn’t see many. He felt there would be synergy during usage times, and having a cost share agreement in the operations would help offset the cost of having the pool open year round. Chadron resident Terry Owen spoke before the council reminding them of a recent survey conducted in the community in which the majority of residents rated having a pool as a top priority. He said the benefit of having the pool available year-round would be huge.
City building/zoning official Janet Johnson agrees there will be benefits. “Right now, we’re opening the pool on Memorial Day, and we typically have been closing the pool in the middle of August,” said Johnson. “So, it’s a pool that’s only open about 2 ½ months. A 12-month pool…I can see a lot of benefits for that, for aerobic programs, physical therapy programs, things that people right now can’t do swimming.”
Johnson said providing a year-round pool to the community will also have its own set of challenges. “One of the challenges I see with it is making sure it’s adequately staffed,” she said. “We would probably have to have a full-time director of that facility if you’re going to be open from 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night, seven days a week. And there’s a few mechanical things that we would have to change, but that could all be worked through.”
Council member Mapes agrees there will be challenges, but he thinks the benefits far outweigh any obstacles. “You know after you get past all that, it’s still a great benefit. I can’t see why anybody would be against it.”
He says the city still has a long way to go to make this a feasible option, but he is already excited by the possibilities. “We need a lot more information before we can make any decisions, but it looks like to me that it’s a win-win situation,” said Mapes. “The college needs a new swimming pool, and they would just as soon not be in the swimming pool business. The city has to have a swimming pool. It looks like the ideal situation.”
Mapes says he is already envisioning a pool with meeting rooms and slides. He says currently there is no swimming pool open along Highway 20 in the winter, and the Chadron pool could be utilized by Cub Scouts and other organizations all winter long.
In the meantime, the Chadron pool opens on Monday. Johnson says Memorial Day will be a fee-free day for the community to come enjoy their pool.
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(Copyright 2012 KCSR/Chadrad Communications, Inc. May not be reproduced in any form without permission.)
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