Local residents are trying to push McMinnville officials into an indoor pool.
While consideration is being given to a $4.8 million upgrade to McMinnville Civic Center, that upgrade does not include an indoor pool.
During Tuesday night’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, concerned residents addressed the board asking an indoor pool to be included.
Jumping in first was Phyllis Hillis.
“I’m here tonight to ask the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to consider adding an indoor pool to the upcoming expansion and renovations to the Civic Center. McMinnville has needed an indoor pool for many years and the older I get the more I recognize that fact. Due to an injury I sustained, I can’t do conventional aerobic exercise or any other exercise.”
Hillis is limited to water aerobics. Because the city doesn’t have an indoor pool, she’s limited to summer months or traveling to Manchester to use its indoor pool.
“In the summer, I get to go to water aerobics,” said Hillis. “I got a whole lot better. I got more mobile. My overall health improved because of the water buoyance and the low impact helped to not aggravate the injury. It doesn’t hurt my joints, of course, because of arthritis. If I had an indoor pool, I could continue to exercise in the winter. An indoor pool would not only benefit seniors, it will benefit all residents of Warren County.”
Hansel Moore, a registered nurse, says an indoor pool will offer residents year-round health benefits.
“I’ve been a registered nurse for decades,” said Moore. “I’ve experienced the health benefits of aqua therapy and the ability to exercise in water. There are countless documented studies and resulted research that strongly support the benefits to our health.”
Moore says an indoor pool is necessary because some people cannot participate in other activities.
“Although there are a number of exercise opportunities in our area. There are many who are unable to participate in these – whether age, morbid obesity or other physical impairments such as arthritis, there are many people who cannot use a simple bicycle. There are many people who cannot use weights. There are many people who cannot simply walk, which is one of the simplest exercises. An aquatic environment would allow these people to begin a quality exercise program and increase their quality of life one session at a time.”
Paige Northcutt, who is co-owner of USA Gym and McMinnville’s swim team coach, says an indoor pool will benefit her swim team members, as well as the Warren County High School swim team, athletes who participate in the McMinnville City Triathlon, and local families.
“We have a high school swim team for the first time,” said Northcutt. “The kids on that team drive to Manchester to swim. They loves the sport of swimming so much they were part of McMinnville Swim Team, but they chose to drove to Manchester so they could swim year-round. Gilley Pool will only be open 74 days in 2016, give or take a few days.”
Because there is no indoor pool in Warren County, individuals and families are forced to drive to Manchester.
“There are lots of families, probably 20-25, that drive and have memberships at the Manchester recreation center only for the indoor pool,” said Northcutt. “I know 20-25 families is not a lot, but if an indoor pool was offered here, how many more would come? I, myself, have a Manchester membership. In with the $4.8 million, I would love for you to consider adding an indoor pool. Not for me, but for the future of these kids and all the kids of Warren County.”
Approximately a dozen adults and children spoke, urging officials to consider including an indoor pool in renovation and expansion plans for McMinnville Civic Center.