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Just a Thought - Make indoor pool for recreation

When I say indoor pool, what mental image comes to mind? 

I believe the majority of people envision whatever indoor pool they’ve ever visited. For most Warren County residents, that’s the indoor recreational pool in Manchester: indoor pool is a 25-yard, 8-lane pool with two 1-meter diving boards, one therapy pool with hydro therapy jets and bench, and kiddie pool with spray fountains. It’s used for recreation, swim teams, swimming lessons, and water aerobics. 

To be honest, I’ve never been to the Manchester facility. I’m not a communal pool kind of person. So, I had to search online for what their facility offers. Their outdoor pool is even more impressive with water slides, lazy river, children’s water playground, lily pad, and water fountains. I may have to reconsider my stance against. 

Is that indoor pool the mental image that comes to mind when I write about McMinnville officials discussing an indoor pool? I fear it might be. I’ve recently learned that some people believe the city is discussing an indoor recreational pool. That’s never been the case. With each story I’ve written, I’ve included the amenities in the facility and it has always been a lap pool (yes, for swimming laps and competitions). Most recently, a heated therapy pool was added. 

When the initial design plans were unveiled Friday, it included a 1-meter board. I’m not sure why. Maybe that was the bone thrown to anyone who thinks the pool will be used for recreation. However, excluding that one board, it is exactly what officials have been discussing – an indoor pool meant for swimming competitions, not recreation.

Yes, officials went and toured other facilities to see what they had, what works, what doesn’t work, how much construction costs were, how much admission costs are, and what pitfalls they should avoid. I’m not sure why they did that when this indoor pool concept is almost exactly what has been openly discussed since it was proposed: a lap pool so swimmers no longer have to travel to Manchester. 

I’m not a fan of this indoor lap pool, as it is currently designed. If city taxpayer dollars are spent on it, it should cater to the majority of those constituents. If they don’t want to use it, that’s fine. However, it should have something for them. This pool, as presented, has all the bells and whistles for people who swim laps and anyone who needs a heated therapy pool. 

It’s my belief the majority of people want recreation. Yet, this indoor pool doesn’t cater to them. They are stuck with an outdoor pool that can only be used approximately 2.5 months out of the year, while the minority of people are getting an indoor pool that they can utilize all year long. 

Importantly, I’m not a city of McMinnville resident and it won’t be my tax dollars going into it. I’ll only have to pay to use it. If it were my tax dollars, I’d be adamantly against this design.

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.