On Tuesday, Sioux Falls voters will decide the fate of a proposed outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park. The campaign has been a contentious one with opponents arguing that Sioux Falls residents need a place to swim year round and supporters arguing to preserve the neighborhood and the park's green space.
For comparison sake, we went straight to the source, the City-Wide Aquatics Facility Master Plan developed by Counsilman-Hunsacker, an aquatics engineering and design consultant hired by the City of Sioux Falls in 2013. Sioux Falls Parks and Rec officials say the Family Aquatics Center model represents the proposed the outdoor pool. We compared it's projected costs and revenue to the Indoor Pool model. We used figures from 2017 when either facility would be in its first full year of operation.
The largest difference between the two pool options is the cost to build: $18,519,000 for the indoor facility $4,640,000 for an outdoor option.
An outdoor option would mean nearly 53,000 people could take a dip each year versus more than 80,000 with the indoor pool open year-round.
The year-round option also means more revenue for the indoor pool; estimated at nearly $395,000. The outdoor pool, with its limited season, would bring in just one-third of that at just over $134,000.
Finally, the more than $1-million cost to operate the indoor pool is nearly four times what it would cost the City to operate the outdoor facility which is estimated to include more than $297,000 in expenses.
Ultimately, it will be up to Sioux Falls voters to decide on Tuesday which pool costs are worth the gain.
There is one last cost comparison that will affect your wallet. The City's consultant recommends charging $180 for a year-long adult pass to the indoor pool. The same pass for the outdoor pool would be $45 for the season.