There is no solid pool plan yet nor is there a concept of what a proposed indoor aquatic would look like, but 80 people weighed in anyway Thursday night. The Sioux Falls Parks Department held an open house to ask residents what they would like to see in a new Spellerberg Park pool.
“It would be such a great opportunity for older citizens, younger children who can't afford to go to a fitness center,” Dianne Timmer said.
It would also be more be swim space for her children. Two of them swim competitively. The other will begin soon. Timmer says the pools are too packed year-round and they only have a few options.
“The YWCA is too small,” Timmer said. “We cannot host the indoor state meet anymore because regulations changed and it now has to be an eight-lane pool.”
The aquatic center concept floating around would replace the current Spellerberg Pool just off of Western Avenue. There are no final plans, but architects say it could include an indoor pool, water slides, lockers and concessions, even an outdoor splash area. It would be bigger than the current complex and it would also include more parking.
“I am in favor of a new pool, but not at that location. And not as it's designed,” Charlie Roberts said.
Roberts, who lived nearby, says he's concerned about the increased traffic a larger facility would create in the neighborhood. He's one of those attending the meeting who would rather see the facility built elsewhere.
“I would like to see them join with the colleges and make a large swimming and diving pool so the colleges could take use of it,” Roberts said.
Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether’s latest spending plan set aside more than $7 million for an indoor aquatic center. He said he wants private business to step in and finish paying for it. Parents like Timmer just want more open lanes.
“I'm not opposed to redoing an outdoor pool, but you've got to make it eight-lane, 50 meters long, so swimming teams can use it,” Timmer said.
If the Spellerberg Park plan moves forward, Parks Department officials say all the existing park facilities would stay the same or be rebuilt.
In December 2005, Sioux Falls voters turned down an indoor pool proposal.