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August 10, 2014 05:30 PM

End Of An Era At Spellerberg Park

Sioux Falls, SD

It's the end of an era for a long-time Sioux Falls pool.

Only a handful of people were at Spellerberg Pool Friday, but it was a big occasion. Friday marked the last day anyone would swim in the outdoor pool.

"This pool was built in 1969. And so it served a great purpose in our community and it's had a great life and a great span," Alicia Luther, Recreation Manager for Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation said. 

That long run ends on Monday, when ground breaks for the new indoor aquatics center at Spellerberg.

Jody Fleischhacker uses the pool daily, and has been coming since it opened over 40 years ago. Even with the nostalgia she feels for the pool, she says she's ready for a new beginning.

"I think I'm past that. Especially the past couple of weeks, swimming in the cold. I've swum in the rain this week. I've been here and been the only person swimming here. And it's cold. So I got that out of my system and I'm ready for it to be an indoor warm pool," Fleischhacker said. 

Coming to this point hasn't been an easy road. Not everyone in the Spellerberg neighborhood was as ready for change as Fleischhacker.

"The people that don't want it, I did not understand that at all. Because I haven't seen any of them swimming here this summer," Fleischhacker said. 

"We'll be asking the community what they'd like to see for the future of the facility as well. So we'll be going out to everybody and getting input," Luther said. 

Alicia Luther also has a long history with the pool, working as a lifeguard here during college. On Monday, she'll help break ground for the new indoor aquatics facility.

Something both ladies are excited to see happen at their old stomping grounds.

"People can go there all year round. So like on these days, like this, where we don't have a lot of people, they'll have somewhere to go if they don't want to be out in the rain or the cloudy weather, or the snow," Luther said.

"It's only getting used at the most, 8 to 10 weeks out of the year. I think it's time we use it all year round. I would love to swim all year round," Fleischhacker said. 

And in a few short years, she'll have that chance.

The ground breaking for the new aquatics center will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

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