In April, Sioux Falls voters will be asked if they want an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park. Community Swim 365 wants you to vote "no."
Members of Community Swim 365 say Spellerberg Park is the perfect place for an indoor swimming pool. Margaret Sumption, a longtime central Sioux Falls resident, says a year-round aquatic center would help draw more families into the area.
"I want very much for my neighborhood to remain vibrant. It is a beautiful community area. It is in the center of Sioux Falls and that center of Sioux Falls is changing," Sumption said.
Small business owner Susie Patrick believes an indoor facility would preserve park green space and enhance access to the nearby sledding hill with more parking.
"We just like to swim. Taught our kids to swim at a really young age and think it's really important for the community to have access to the same swimming lessons and have a pool for everyone to use," Patrick said.
Some of the concern with having an indoor facility at Spellerberg Park has to do with the traffic but members of this new group say traffic will actually improve.
"Having an indoor pool facility evens out traffic and, in fact, lessens the traffic overall throughout the year," Sumption said.
At the end of the day, the group doesn't want to see millions of dollars invested in another outdoor pool that won't add a single day of swimming for the Sioux Falls community.
KELOLAND News did contact a group in support of an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park. Paula Johnson with Save Spellerberg Park sent us a statement via email saying:
People who live around Spellerberg should be able to walk to their neighborhood park and enjoy the open green space, ball fields, swings and a new outdoor pool. The city wants to dig up our park and build a 56,000 square foot facility with two indoor pools, party rooms and a snack bar. The claim Spellerberg is central and accessible to all is not supported by the city consultant's pool plan which states 75 percent of the population is outside a three-mile radius of Spellerberg and two to three miles is not walking distance. The fact is most everyone will drive, creating a parking problem. The city architects and Park and Recreation Director have acknowledged a parking shortage as there simply isn't enough land at Spellerberg to build parking and the indoor pool. The city-hired consultants stated there was no growth potential at Spellerberg also, as the park is too small. Despite this, the city leadership solution to a problem they will create is to take parking from Veterans at the VA and a nearby nursing home and Children's Care, none of which is their property. The indoor pools can be built elsewhere and we encourage voters to vote for a new outdoor pool for the Spellerberg neighborhood.