LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - An aquatic center needs a swimming pool

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I have thought for a long time it is very sad that a community of our size doesn't really have a public swimming pool. I know that there is a committee working on an "aquatic park" that, for the time being, excludes a swimming pool.

The aquatic park will have a wave pool, slides, splash pad and lazy river. The plan for now is to build the aquatic park for $8 million and change and in the future when we can afford it, a swimming pool for about $2 million.

By reading some of the articles about this it has been said the swimming pool just isn't a money maker and when people are swimming laps they take up too much room and not enough people can use the pool. I think we should look at this as an investment in our community, not a money maker.

Sure we need to be fiscally responsible, but we also only need to break even and with the proper fee schedule and season ticket sales we can achieve that goal. The mainstays of an aquatic center are the swim teams, the swim clubs, water aerobics etc. The swimming pool could be designed so that multiple activities could take place at the same time, it doesn't have to be just a rectangle. It could have an extension off one end, both or the center that would be different depths and suitable for different age groups.

There could be a time schedule set for the different usages. For the sake of public safety there should be a public swimming pool to teach people to swim.

I think it would be better and less expensive to build a $3 million swimming pool first and then add the play things to it as we can afford them. I would love to see a true "aquatic center" but without a swimming pool it will only be a splash park.

I would urge the committee forming the plan that will be put in front of the voters to remember why it failed the last time. It was too big and cost too much.

Chuck Streamer
Walla Walla

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