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Basin recreation contemplates pool

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

Voters will determine on Nov. 7 weather or not they want another pool in the area.

A pool near Kimball Junction along with park and trail improvements would be part of a $12 million bond. Special projects coordinator Bonnie Park said $7 million of that would go toward phase two of the field house project which includes the construction of a pool, something that was in the original master plan of the building.

"We built that building with the expectation we would add a pool," Park said.

That includes knock-out walls that are part of current field house.

The district’s new director Ken Mickelsen said the pool will most likely be very different from what is offered at the Park City Aquatic Center.

"The one at Ecker Hill is designed for competitive swimming, lap swimming, lesson teaching it’s more of a traditional standard pool," he said.

A splash pool is more what Basin Rec had in mind.

Park has had conversations with Park City School District officials about the project and how it relates to the school district’s facility.

"Their concern was centered on the fact that their pool is subsidized, and their concern is that with a competing pool nearby, they will lose their open plunge revenue," she said.

Community Education Director Judy Tukuafu reported the aquatic center made approximately $144,000. Of that $40,000 was made from open plunge. Last year’s subsidy was $130,000.

She said the new pool would not necessarily jeopardize the open plunge funds. A lot of that would depend on the hours, how much they charge, what age range they target and what programs they run.

"I go to a pool in Salt Lake, the leisure pool is pretty much younger kids. Other leisure pools are really set up for all ages with larger slides and deeper water," she said.

Because the aquatic center is primarily designed for lap swimming while the new pool would focus on recreational water activities, Mickelsen said the two would serve very different needs in the community.

"In many ways there would not be competition between the two facilities," he said.

Park said she spoke with the district about the possibility of partnering with the Park City School District to build the splash pool at the Park City Aquatic Center but this raised a few concerns.

The first is that the language on the ballot has already been chosen, but Park said that can be changed.

"The way the ballot language is worded, it specifies the field house, but we may make some adjustments in the voter information pamphlet," she said. "Presently we’re having a discussion about whether we need to do that."

Park added that parents like the idea of having a splash pool at the field house because it would enable them to drop one child off at soccer while taking the other one swimming, an option that is not available at the Ecker Hill pool.

Another concern she has heard is the amount of traffic an addition would generate along the road that goes past the Aquatic Center.

It also has the potential to disperse the available $7 million, leaving phase two at the field house incomplete.

Discussions between the Park City School District and the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District continue.

"I think the important thing is that both staffs are in the process of looking at and discussing these issues," Mickelsen said.

The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District is hosting an open house to discuss the pool on Oct. 23-24 from 6-8 p.m. at the field house on 1388 Center Drive in the new park project.


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