Welcome to Our Blog

July 31, 2006 at 7:27 pm 23 comments

Welcome to Mt. Lebanon Municipality’s  first-ever blog, an experiment we hope you’ll join in, sharing your ideas about the new aquatic center that is proposed for Mt. Lebanon Park.  At Mt. Lebanon Municipality, when we say we want public input, we mean it—and we want to be sure that our residents are well-informed as the proposed aquatic center project progresses through the feasibility study phase,  to the design, the funding and the eventual construction of a center that will serve our community well.

Whether you are a current Mt. Lebanon Swim Center user, someone who might use an aquatic center if it had different amenities or someone who  probably will never use the center but are interested in the project,  we hope you’ll feel free to ask questions or make suggestions.

Mt. Lebanon’s public information office will maintain this site, but the postings will be a joint effort by other municipal departments (especially the recreation department) and Counsilman-Hunsaker,  the consultants for the feasibility study.

We will update our blog as new information becomes available and will respond to your questions as needed.

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Entry filed under: General Information.

Got a Question?

23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark Frederickson  |  August 3, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    I read in a recent issue of Mt. Lebanon Magazine, a discussion about a replacement for the existing 50 meter pool behind the Rec Center. This discussion is of great interest to me for several reasons: having raised two girls in Mt. Lebanon, I am well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this pool. I agree that a “zero-depth” entry is an important feature of a pool, which serves such a diverse population. When the girls were younger, we went to Dormont Pool for this reason and the truly enjoyed swimming there. Secondly, for the last 14 years, I have taken advantage of the availability of this pool for lap swimming. As we are now “empty-nesters” my wife and I have had many discussions about whether we should continue to live in Mt. Lebanon. We went so far as to create a comprehensive list of reasons why we should stay. We made the explicit decision to stay here and the existence of an excellent outdoor swimming facility is high on that list (actually number two).

    However, as an active lap swimmer, I am quite concerned about the mention in the article of “some competitive element” in the plans for a new pool. While I understand that the mission of the township is to satisfy the most number of people, given a finite budget, I hope that there is an appreciation of the substantial number of people who use this pool for serious exercise. Everyone should be aware that from 5:15am to Noon there are Master’s swimmers, age group swimmers and adult lap swimmers using this facility four or more days a week and a number of lap swimmers throughout the day. I invite anyone to see for themselves some morning the number of people swimming in the current pool at 5:15am. To detract from this would be a huge disappointment, not only to me, but the Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club and many others. I believe that an “equivalent competitive element” needs to be integral in the design of the replacement pool; in my mind that is a 50 meter, eight to ten lane, pool! If a zero-depth entry or slides can be worked into the design, all the better.

    Finally, I spent many years traveling all over the United States as a part of my job. One advantage of this was the ability to visit and swim at a number of beautiful pools including the one in Beachwood, Ohio. I once spent two full weeks in Atlanta and swam in a pool located in a town north of the city, similar to Mt. Lebanon. The design was similar to the pool in Beachwood; an excellent lap/competitive pool and a separate leisure pool. Each time that I swam there I saw hundreds of people, of all ages, benefiting from this facility. I have witnessed the same scene over and over again in Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Utah, California and many other states. Instead of playing video games, watching TV or surfing the Internet, kids were learning to swam, practicing for meets or spending quality time with parents or grandparents. When one considers all of the health problems facing our community today and the benefits of a facility such as what can be found in Beachwood, Ohio, there is no question in my mind that a similar facility needs to be built in Mt. Lebanon. I am 100% in favor of this!

    Sincerely,

    Mark S. Frederickson

    Reply
  • 2. Mike Madison  |  August 3, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Congrats to the municipality for establishing this resource for the community. Welcome to the blogosphere!

    Reply
  • 3. Mark Rauterkus  |  August 4, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    As a swim coach and advocate for fitness — with some political points of view — let me start by saying thanks for posting this blog to further advance the discussion.

    As a point of trivia, I spent the last three days at the BEACH in MAINE — and we are able to have such a grand time because of the strength of our kids’ swimming abilities.

    Swimming is a lifelong spot and 50-meter pools are one of those things that do NOT fit under your bed in you condo. A community resource is a prudent investment for many reason. More to come from me for sure….

    Reply
  • 4. E. Charles  |  August 9, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    Cheers to the municipality in continuing the Mt. Lebaneon tradition of upgrading needed amentities such as the aquatic center. The residents as well as the public will be watching closely as to how the project proceeds. Open discussion such as this blog will only enhance the interest for the use of the facility. Budgetary analysis will ultimately decide the manner in which this project will unfold. An aqatic center need have a competitive lap pool, a zero point of entry for the leisure pool and a zero pont of entry for the heated elderly entrance. There will be advantage gained in working with a few of the local municipalities undertaking a similar project.
    May the force be with the design and planning.

    Reply
  • 5. Aimee Lamendola  |  August 9, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    We are excited about the prospect of an outdoor aquatic center. The town where I grew up, a suburb of Chicago, recently updated their outdoor and indoor pools. I have four children ages 1.5 to 9 all who love the pools when we visit. The website is Glenviewparks.org, click on Facilities and then Flick pool to see the pictures and read the descriptions. The indoor pool is called Splash Landings which is also worth looking at. Glenview did a great job on this project. I would love to see Mt. Lebanon create something similar!

    Reply
  • 6. Chris Wiles  |  August 9, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    As a former competitive swimmer with two elementary school children I have been shocked at the guality (lack there of) of the swimming facilities at Mt Lebanon. Great coaching only goes so far, and it is really tough to be proud of your facilities after you’ve been to your competitors. We’ve only been in Mt Lebanon for 17 years and I was sure we’d have a new facility before my children were of competitive swimming age and I retired elsewhere, but unless we move out of this discussion phase soon that may not be the case. As far as the type of facility that should be built, I believe that the first, second, and third priorities should be education and competition. Amusement Parks are nice but they don’t do anything to educate our children on how to swim or how to have a healthy respect for the dangers of water. Lets just cut through all the nonsense and build a facility that our children and coaches would be proud of, and lets do it before our first graders are moving off to college!

    Reply
  • 7. Mary W.  |  August 10, 2006 at 8:19 am

    As a long-time resident of Mount Lebanon, I would like to congratulate our municipal managers on their interest in keeping our pool among the best in the area. At the same time, I would caution our municipal managers to proceed carefully when considering adaptations or perceived enhancements to our existing facility.

    Our outdoor pool is among the largest and most versatile in the area, combining options for recreational and competitive swimming. The slides, diving well, and varieties of depths allow recreational swimmers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the facility. The separate baby pool gives young children and their parents the opportunity to interact without the concern of older swimmers increasing the risk of injury. Perhaps the most important feature of our current pool is its length – 50 meters. A 50-meter pool is a much sought-after commodity in this area, lending itself not only to competitive swimming but to much-desired lap swimming, which many of our community members enjoy on a daily basis.

    As vice president of instructional programming for the Aqua Club, I would also like to make a plea to the municipality that the pool’s general design not be dramatically altered. I am happy to report that this summer our senior swimmers provided instruction to nearly 400 of Mount Lebanon’s children through our Learn to Swim and Aqua Tot programs. Additionally, 140 Mount Lebanon children took part in our summer competitive swimming program, Piranhas. For more than six weeks, the Mount Lebanon pool was filled each morning with swimmers of all ages and abilities, as these programs ran simultaneously. Were it not for the pool’s size and configuration, we would not have been able to provide these community services. It is indeed our pleasure to do so, but to continue, we must have a pool that resembles our current facility, perhaps with the addition of a heater.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • 8. C. Hahn  |  August 10, 2006 at 9:36 am

    There is no doubt that the replacement of our community pool is badly over due. The current design, as mentioned earlier, does not accommodate young families. The baby pool is too far from the partitioned shallow area where the “faucet” is located. No doubt, a zero entrance area would help elevate this problem. Additionally the locker rooms are a disgrace, although I think they would be much more tolerable if properly cleaning and maintained.

    I disagree with a comment made earlier about a playground area not being necessary. When my youngest was still in the baby pool area and my older child began swimming in the main pool, we really needed that playground area to keep my toddler busy while my other child was still swimming with friends and challenging herself with her new swimming skills. I don’t believe we need anything larger than what we currently have but that should be determined more by demographics and population trends in our community.

    I do agree that it is very important that we provide lap lanes for competitive swimming and exercise. This should be the focal point of our new facility! Although I must admit my children would love a water park, in the long run I don’t believe it serves their best interest or that of the community. A water park as the central focus of our new aquatic center would unquestionably be an inappropriate use of taxpayer money.

    More than anything, I wish that the municipality and the school district could put their differences behind them and re-open the discussion of a joint venture.

    Reply
  • 9. Shirley Skiviat  |  August 10, 2006 at 10:04 am

    If the high school students use the new swimming pool, it does not sound like a good idea for them to be going outside in the middle of winter to go back to class still soaking wet. I’m all in favor of a full length swimming pool. My brother was on the swim team in 1972 and I was so surprised when our 7 year old started swimming lessons at the high school pool. Nothing had changed. It is time, however, keeping in mind not many of us want to pay more in taxes..my vote is to redo a beautiful pool and expand in the current location of the pool, as an addition to the high school and forget about a water park. If we were gushing with money here in Mt. Lebo…then fine but people are moving away because of school expenses raising taxes. We love Mt. Lebanon schools and teachers and the community, but this water park makes me think of someone remodelling a home and thinking we need a theater room just because it’s the newest thing. It’s expensive and some private group might be encouraged to build something like this in Mt. Lebanon, if they feel the bottom line will add up to profit. Cute idea…School should be about education. Again, a competitive, regulation pool is needed but the rest should be a thought when people can afford it.

    Reply
  • 10. Hayley Gbur  |  August 10, 2006 at 10:13 am

    I am more than pleased to hear that Mt Lebanon is planning to update their outdoor aquatic center. I have been a resident for 6 years with two small children ages 5 and 2. We unfortunately do not use our own community pool due to the inefficency to cater to different ages and swimming abilities. How can I foster my 5 year olds ability to swim and to have no fear of the water when I have to stay in the wading pool with my 2 year old? The area that my daughter can stand in and learn to put her head in the water, blow bubbles, kick from wall to wall is more than 500 yards away out of my sight line. Obviously catering to family play and interaction is key. Integrating zero gravity entry butted up against a deeper section for siblings to test their abilities and gradually continuing deeper sections with slides, diving boards etc. is somthing that I feel definately needs to be considered in the planning of this facility to support the diverse members of our community.

    Along with family, I also believe lap swimming for adults is a valuable asset for our community. Unfortunately with my childrens age I am not able to take advantage (unless you would consider child care at certain times of the day). I do plan however, when my children are old enough and have mastered their swimming skills to not only begin to use the lap area of the pool myself, but encourage them as well. As a competitive swimmer from the age of 6 thru college, I do believe it is crucial that we also offer the most up to date facility and technology to support our Aqua teams.

    As a parent who thinks nothing of traving 30-40 minutes once or twice a week to use the Hampton community pool in the North Hills, I would definately support a Summer membership for the next 20-30 years as long as we are Mt Lebanon residents.

    PS – Thank you for creating the blog to give community members the chance to voice their opinions.

    Reply
  • 11. AJ DREXLER  |  August 13, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    As the mother of five who moved to Mt Lebanon 15 years ago very specifically for the quality of education and recreation, I have three very specific comments to make about the development of a new Aquatics Center in Mt. Lebanon:
    1) Safety. Tthe current baby pool is way too far away from the next step up resulting in exhausted mothers running back and forth trying to keep their small children safe. I wa only able to permit my children to take turns in the appropriate pool. As a result of this condition we left the Mt. Lebanon pool for three years and enjoyed the Bower Hill Pool, returning only when our children were competent enough swimmers to swim the whole pool with friends.
    2) Education. Nothing about a new pool should be more important than our children learning how to SWIM in it. Water play and relaxation are great–but they are absolutely second in importance to being competent swimmers. No child can safely play in water without eventually learning to swim. Good swimmers are not born–they are taught over a number of years–and most children in Mt Lebanon are taught by the Aqua Club at one level or another. Competitive swimming–even for a short period of time, builds our children into the strongest swimmers. It is imperative to support the needs of teh Aqua Club in this pool.
    3) Fitness. As we all know, or should know, about the priority of fitness in our lives, it is imperative that the Mt Lebanon pool continue to serve the needs of adult and child fitness. After a lifetime of swimming for recreation only, I recently (at age 44) joined the Mt Lebanon Aqua Club Masters Swimmers-a group of dedicated adults who faithfully show up at the pool each morning at 5:15am. This program is not just for former swimmers. it is for adults like me–interested primarily in fitness–who benefit a great deal from the support and coaching offered through this program.

    I believe that only after these first three objectives are met should consideration be given to plain old fun!

    So, in summary, I believe that the priorities for the development of an Aquatic Center for Mt. Lebanon should be:
    1)Safety
    2) Education
    3) Fitness
    4) Fun

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

    Reply
  • 12. larry evans  |  August 15, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    You have gotten a lot of great feedback already. In a nutshell, here’s what’s most important to me and my family zoo: 1. keep the 50 meter competitive lanes – the Aqua club is an important community asset – nothing else gets my daughter up daily at 8:15am in July, nor does anything make her more fit and proud, 2. put in some healthier concession items – beer nuts would be good. 3. Add a water volleyball/hoops area but have some water shoes available 4. Do connect the rec center directly to the pool and replace the locker rooms with a two story fitness center with rowing machines, a sauna, hot tub and a bar that serves frozen banana daiquiris. 5. Throw in some batting cages on the roof….6. Lazy river sounds like fun …but …7. how about some slides down the hill towards Dixon Field and a glass enclosed climbing wall to get back up?

    Reply
  • 13. K McGrady  |  August 18, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    I think it is relevant to the discussion to ask what type of pool may be built at the high school when it is renovated. I have seen designs for both pools over the past few years. Now that they are both on the drawing board, they need to be discussed together. I know that makes some people cringe but not doing so seems irresponsible to me.

    Although I completely support the needs of the Mt Lebanon Aqua Club I am uncertain whether they need 2 new competition pools and the school district owes them a facility geared to training athletes. As a taxpayer I would like to see one 50 meter pool and given the weather conditions in Pittsburgh, wouldn’t an indoor pool get the most use? If built with public access this pool would be a fantastic asset.

    Perhaps the community pool should satisfy lap swimmers with a 25 meter pool, zero depth areas, exercise depth areas and water park like features. I’d at least like to see this discussed.

    There is an opportunity here that comes along once in a lifetime. There is alot of land between the high school property and Mt. Lebanon Park. Martha’s playground is also being planned. In our rush to see something done because we are so frustrated by subpar facilities, I hope we don’t miss the chance to do it right.

    Reply
  • 14. Matt Hausmann  |  August 22, 2006 at 10:18 am

    I am pleased to see that Mt. Lebanon is open to comments from the community with regard to the new aquatic center. I feel that many of the posts already made hit on the key considerations, but I would like to add some thoughts of my own.

    First, it would be irresponsible for Mt. Lebanon to make a decision on an outdoor aquatic center without consideration of the complete aquatics needs of the town. The current indoor pool does not meet the needs of the residents. There is little to no recreational swimming time due to the fact that the pool is simply too small and therefore cannot be programmed correctly. Mt. Lebanon owes it to the residents and taxpayers to properly plan for the entire aquatics needs and not simply look at the outdoor pool. I do agree with an earlier post that mentioned a 50 meter indoor facility (I assume with a width of 25 yards). A pool with that configuration would allow for year round lessons, would meet the needs of the Mt. Lebanon Aqua, would provide appropriate time for programming for adults and Seniors, and would allow for recreational swimming for the community year round. In creating this type of indoor facility, it potentially opens up more options for the outdoor facility.

    Second, I agree that some reconfiguration of current space is needed. The shallow portion of the pool and the “kiddie” pool do need to be closer together to make it easier for parents to watch their kids. In doing so, this could be an ideal spot for the zero depth entry.

    Third, we need to ensure that the pool is designed for the entire community and not just a single demographic. My family and I moved here last year from Massachusetts. Our town pool in Massachusetts was almost entirely zero entry. The result of this was that the pool appealed to parents of young children (5 and under) only. Once kids hit elementary school age they found the pool “boring” or “lame”. Kids enjoy jumping into pools, getting out, and repeating the process. Additionally, the lack of walls made it impossible to create any lap swimming for adults or programming for Seniors. It should be noted that when we moved here last summer we were incredibly pleased to see ALL age groups using the current outdoor pool. To me, it truly was a community pool serving the entire community.

    Fourth, the concept of replacing a valuable piece of the community infrastructure with a lazy river designed as a regional attraction is foolhardy at best and negligent at worst. Our tax dollars should be spent focused on the needs of the Mt. Lebanon community, not creating a water park to compete with private enterprises. The purpose of our aquatic center is to serve our town, not to be a profit center. And given that parking is already difficult, it’s hard to see how we could accommodate a water park in the middle of our recreation center.

    In summary, I implore the Mt. Lebanon officials to be thoughtful in their approach to the recreation and aquatics needs of the entire Mt. Lebanon community. Make a decision on the complete aquatics needs of the town and not just the outdoor pool. In the long run, it will produce the most benefit to the community and will be the most fiscally prudent approach.

    Reply
  • 15. Steve L.  |  August 22, 2006 at 12:27 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with the others who expressed their dismay with the current pool configuration. We stopped using the MTL pool for this very reason and began going to Dormont because the zero-depth entry allowed us to keep a better watch on our children, who are several years apart in age.

    As for the indoor/outdoor controversy, this shoudl be a no-brainer. We live in PENNSYLVANIA folks, so even the most top-notch facility will sit dormant for 3/4 of the year unless it is enclosed. The revenue-generating ability of the rec center has been beaten to death because the facility does not generate enough revenue to support itself without municipal subsidy. Building an indoor, or at least an indoor/outdoor facility would go a long way toward solving that problem.

    Let’s look at this from another perspective: How viable would an outdoor ice rink be in our climate?

    Reply
  • 16. Lori Pearce  |  September 2, 2006 at 9:11 am

    As a member of the ranks of the Mt. Lebanon Masters Swimmers, I would like to cast my vote for an aquatic center that emphasizes the competitive, recreational and health/exercise components of lap swimming.

    I did not have the privilege of lap swimming as a youth, and so took up this childhood dream in my 30’s. I have trained hard to develop this skill and count it among my passions. Because of this, I consider it to be one of the top benefits of living in Mt. Lebanon.

    I have trained on the 50 meter outdoor pool and urge the committee to very seriously consider the importance of incorporating a 50 meter competetive swimming area into their plans. In fact, it is my opinion and recommendation that the number of 50 meter lanes be increased in any forthcoming designs. I have heard repeatedly from fellow swimmers of their frustrations at the crowded conditions for lap swimming at both the indoor and outdoor pools. Clearly there is demand for this important aspect of any acquatics center – lap swimming.

    With the enthusiasm of endurance swimmers like myself, we have the potential to grow this positive activity in our community if given the right venue.

    Reply
  • 17. Bill Crock  |  September 4, 2006 at 1:03 am

    First of all, thank you for this opportunity to comment. My thoughts follow:
    1. Locate the kiddie pool next to the shallowest end.
    2. A 50 meter pool for lap swimming and competition is vital. Ideally try to design it so that quite a few lane dividers can remain in place semi-permanently. The lap lanes in the current pool are almost always in use.
    3. Make a new pool slightly deeper than the existing pool so diving can be permitted in more places.
    Creating a ‘Six Flags over Mt. Lebanon’ would be folly. One need only look down the hill to the Ice Arena to see how well municipal government does when it tries to compete against the recreation industry.
    A simple, reasonably inexpensive design is a must – otherwise the taxpayers will surely revolt.
    Common sense may be more important than expert consultants in creating a practical design. I have been swimming for fifty years in many, many different pools and I would be happy to serve on a Commisioners’ appointed committee.
    Also a little ingenuity can go a long way. In the Spring of 2004, Long Beach, CA built a temporary pool to host the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trails. The pool was well constructed and was deemed a total success when the swimmers tested it and declared it “fast”! After the trials were finished, Long Beach had no further use for the pool. An enterprising town in New Jersey bought it for their community pool at a very reasonable cost.

    Reply
  • 18. Lorri W  |  September 5, 2006 at 9:14 am

    It is good to see that the township is trying to take in consideration everyone’s concerns and needs when it comes to building a new pool. My family uses this pool daily as members of the MLAC (Masters, Piranhas, and the main team) as well as for recreational swimming. I believe that swimming is a lifelong sport. It is something that has no age boundries such as baseball, football or hockey to name a few. Also overall compared to other sports it is relatively inexpensive for the individual. The main expense is having an appropriate pool to swim in. The pool we have is truly in need of serious repair and replacement. The main thing is to stick to the basics and improve on what we have. The 50 meter length is needed, not only for lap swimmers and aqua club but on many days the pool does get crowded and people need a place to swim and play in the water. It would be nice if it could also be able to have more width lanes that are not blocked with handicap chairs and ladders. When at the pool this summer the lap lanes are in constant use. Also having a little more deeper water on one end would be nice too. The dive well should be made big enough to accomadate lap swimming, ie: 25 yards wide. This way during the off hours more lap swimmers could be handled. Also with a bigger dive well section, water sports such as synchronized swimming and water polo would be able to use it. Having a zero entry and placing the baby pool adjacent to that area would be very helpful to people with young children that use both. The zero entry should be on the side not affecting the 50 meter lap area. Also the jungle gym should stay. The little kids really enjoy it. The locker room needs some work too. It would be nice to have better lighting, some more benches to sit on and a few more changing booths. Throughout the summer I have noticed that the shady covered areas fill quickly. So providing additional shade is needed. As far as heating the pool, I do not think it is necessary. The cost of heating a pool this size would be huge. Besides you come to the pool to cool off on warm days and get refreshed. Swimming in “bath water” is not refreshing. Swimming laps in “bath water” is like trying to swim in soup. Having a lazy river and some of these other attractions is an added expense in the long run. The township would have to hire additional lifeguards, buy inner tubes and maybe even life jackets to use in the lazy river. We went to Water Country USA in Virginia and they have numerous guards as well as required life jackets on all children despite their swimming ability. The slide we have is great! It is fast and fun. That should be kept.
    The pool in Mt. Lebanon is nice but we have the opportunity to make it great once again. So let us keep in mind the many number of people who use this pool for fitness as well as fun. Having a bunch of bells and whistles may bring people in on the short term but they will be short lived. We are a municipal pool that cannot compete with places like Sandcastle, Soak Zones ETC. Just look at the county wave pools, at first they were all the rage and people went there in droves, now they only get very crowded on very hot days. We need to keep in mind the costs of maintaining and staffing these costly extra attractions. Thank you.

    Reply
  • 19. Gwen Wisniewski  |  September 5, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    If my vote counts….it must allow for competition. We are members of MLAC and live in mt. lebo. In the summer we opt to go to bower hill pool, because we get more usage for our dollar because it is heated. All four of my children belong to their swim club because it is heated and their toes don’t freeze during practices. We also joined 5 years ago becaue it was impossible to watch my toddlers at Mt. Lebo while my 2 beginning swimmers were in the shallow end of the large pool. The shallow end is so crowded it is scary. Here’s what I’d like to see:
    plenty of competition lanes
    heated
    zero entry
    NO lazy river
    slides and diving boards

    Thank you,
    Gwen Wisniewski

    Reply
  • 20. Mary Larsen  |  September 6, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    I should have thought of this sooner, but do you have figures for enclosing the present pool and making it useable year round?

    We talk about how wonderful it would be but have never thought we could afford it.

    Reply
  • 21. Norina Daubner  |  October 9, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    A new aquatic center will be a great asset to the community. It should, at the least, have zero entry, space for lap swimmers and divers, and be heated. A slide or two would be attractive to young families as would the ability to use some flotation devices.
    The lack of these amenitites is sending Mt. Lebanon families to other pools in the area.

    Reply
  • 22. Bruce O'Neill  |  October 30, 2006 at 10:31 am

    As baby boomers reach retirement age, many consider whether to stay in their current home or move to new surroundings. Reasons to stay might include proximity to friends, enjoyable weather, reasonable local/state taxes, affordable housing, and the desirability of the community. Reasons to leave might include harsh local weather, high taxes, expensive housing, and irresponsible govenment.

    The weather is what it is, in Pittsburgh. An outdoor pool is a 3-months-per-year facility. Taxes in Mt. Lebanon (and PA) are too high. The record of government, with respect to doing what it says, within the budget allowed, is poor. If a recreation facility could be operated at a profit, in a given area, some businessman or group of investors would be doing it and making a profit.

    With Sandcastle (and several other public pools) within about a 30 minute drive from Mt. Lebanon, I think it’s important to identify how much each household is willing to pay (now AND in the future) in tax increases, for the privilege of having our own “Aqua Center” right here. In addition to the cost of designing, building, and operating such a facility, the municipality will have to cover the associated insurance premiums, utility bills, and other ancillary costs. Many of these costs will be ‘buried in the budget’, each as a part of a larger number or line item. The ice rink is NOT a money-maker.

    I see a disturbing trend playing out in the South Hills lately: each municipality seems to feel that it MUST have every “nice thing” that any neighboring municipality has. Local governments are playing their taxpayers off against one another. “What’s the matter with you? The town next door has one – WE NEED ONE!”

    No one is a greater proponent of exercise & fitness than me. However, the percentage of the municipal population that will use such a facility must be weighed in a cost/benefit analysis. Also, the apparent lack of coordination between the proponents of the indoor (high school) and outdoor (rec center) pools is troubling. If a 50 meter lap pool is to be provided to the community by the taxpayers, it makes more sense that it should be indoors. And, please be considerate of the tax burden on the people who will pay for facilities that they will not use.

    Reply
  • 23. Christine Aspiotis  |  November 9, 2006 at 2:58 pm

    First, thanks for the opportunity to comment on the pool plans without having to turn my evening upside down to get to a meeting. This is very convenient.

    First, I’m very pleased to see the zero-depth entry getting consideration. It is the reason we choose Dormont pool over Mt. Lebanon. My daughter, who is very timid when it comes to water, loves to determine the depth she’s comfortable with and “ease in” to the deeper water with me. This summer my mother, also a Mt. Lebanon resident, came to Dormont pool with us and had a ball. Being in her 60’s and not in the best health, she hadn’t been swimming in ages and really enjoyed herself. I think zero-depth is appealing to young and older residents and I would love to see it.

    I also agree that it doesn’t need to become Sandcastle. What we have is fine with some upgrades while keeping general footprint of the pool. I would favor a larger pool in the hopes that it would become a more popular destination when completed and there would be plenty of room for families, serious swimmers, zero-depth entry, etc. The dressing room hasn’t changed in 30 years and is a little scary, but I would hope a new building is a given.

    The two things that I personally would like to see are the restrictions on floating toys changed and more diving boards. Like I mentioned, my daughter is timid in the water and the arm floaties, rings, etc. are a great comfort to her. She calls Lebo the “not fun pool” because of the freedom at Dormont to bring in whatever she needs. Floaters can’t be limited to just the “baby pool” which is an insult to a child like mine. The “just do it” mentality is old. Some kids need more time.

    Lastly, I learned to dive on the three different height diving boards that used to be at Mt. Lebanon. It took a whole summer to conquer the highest one, but I did. Kids can’t learn if they don’t have an opportunity to do so. I’m not sure I understand why diving boards have all but disappeared, but they need more than one.

    Thanks for listening and good luck to all in making these decisions for a new pool for Lebo. It’s time, and I trust that the interests of all residents will be considered making our pool once again a great place to be.

    Reply

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