As a four-year swimmer for the Walla Walla Swim Club, a four-year varsity swimmer at Walla Walla High School, and as a lifeguard, you can guess that the article about a proposed aquatics park plan stimulated much excitement in myself and my swim team friends, who have been swimming indoors since the closure of Memorial Pool many years ago.
However, I was extremely disappointed when I read on, discovering that a lap pool of any length would not keep the park profitable. Although with a budget of over $8 million, one would think that the center could provide a decent-sized pool, not only for the swim team to practice in, but as a place for the general public to engage in exercise that normally would not occur in a wave pool, a splash pad or a lazy river.
It is true that the swim team very well could just practice in Whitman's Harvey Pool, which is what we have been doing for the past several summers. But although the college students are gone for the summer, finding available practice times proves onerous because of the city of Walla Walla's swim lessons and the Sea Monkey Swim Team that practices there as well.
This summer we will travel to Pendleton's aquatic center three or four times a week to practice outdoors because its lap pool is the appropriate length for our competitive summer season (50 meters), whereas Whitman's is 25 yards.
I wholeheartedly appreciate and support this community's effort to propose a new aquatics center, but what we need is a balance of playground and exercise facilities, something that would bring in just as much revenue as the original design.