Posted 11 months ago
By John Axtell
The long-awaited proposal to convert the city of Chadron’s outdoor swimming pool into an indoor recreation facility finally gets unveiling tonight in a special city council workshop meeting at 6:00 in city hall that will also be on Great Plains Cable channel 19 and streamed on the city website chadron-nebraska.com.
The concept was first raised as Chadron State College closed its Armstrong pool and turned it into the school’s new weight room, leaving the community without a public indoor pool and the college looking at building a much smaller pool just large enough to meet the needs of courses in its recreation major.
An informal community group brought the to the city council and a formal advisory committee with the acronym SPEEDO was named to work with one of the top swimming pool consulting and design firms in the country – Burbach Aquatics, which was hired in February of last year.
Speedo member Mitch Merkel says Burbach has worked closely with the committee over the past year, starting with what types of things the public would like to see in such a facility, but that the proposal being outlined tonight was developed by the Speedo members.
Merkel says Speedo has worked to find the right balance between what the public wants in the facility and how much it will cost.
The original idea was simply to enclose the pool, but Merkel says the committee determine some additional items were needed…such as a therapy pool and meeting room.
Speedo will also outline funding options for the project, options that could include increasing the city sales tax another half-cent.
The city council will not act on the pool proposal tonight, but has tentatively scheduled the issue for its next regular meeting on the 16th. Earlier discussions indicated the council would decide on sending a referendum to the citizens on whether to proceed.
Burbach Aquatics’ work on the feasibility and conceptual study was done at no cost under a professional services agreement that gives the company right-of-first-refusal to do the engineering if the city goes ahead any time in the next 5 years.