Take a Good Look at Our Swim Center—and Others

August 11, 2006 at 10:57 am 6 comments

As you sit in the winter chill anticipating next swim season, think constructively about our 50-meter outdoor pool, the baby pool, the sun bathing area, the snackbar, the dressing rooms, etc., and think about what needs to be added, eliminated or upgraded. Also, if you go somewhere interesting this winter, you may experience swimming pools or aquatic centers that you like or dislike. The consultants’ final report has been presented; now the commission and staff will begin its evaluation of the repor. There is still time to share your ideas about what sort of center will meet our community’s competitive, instructional, recreational and health/wellness needs. Post your comments here, contact your commissioner or speak out at a public commission meeting held the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 8 p.m. in the municipal building. Don’t forget to check out the consultant’s final report, using the tab at the right. Remember that these are only scenarios. During the design phase, changes could be made to any of these options.

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What’s What in Aquatics? You ask; we answer

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Will Oberle  |  August 11, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    I think updating the pool is a good idea considering the fact that it is a wonderful activity for kids and adults alike during those hot summer days. Pleas keep in mind the competitive aspect though, as a parent of an MLAC swimmer, the pool is an excellent place for the team to train.

    Reply
  • 2. Euclid Noble  |  August 13, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    I view it as postive that our community is assessing the existing swimming pool facility. I think community assets such as our swimming facility, and our recreation center overall, factor into people’s decisions as to whether they decide to live in Mt. Lebanon as opposed to let’s say, Upper St. Clair.

    As a member of the Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club, I feel fortunate that we have a competitive pool to train in and I would hope that any new “facility” that might get built will continue to incorporate a competitive element in its design. I would also hope that a new facility would incoporate features that would appeal to all residents of our community regardless of their age. To that point, I believe the new facility should incorporate a wellness or fitness center in its design. I currently belong to a fitness center. It has your basic treadmills, ellipticals, free weights, weight machines and a steam bath. It really is not that elaborate. I pay $50/mo for an individual membership. I would much rather contribute this money towards a memebrship in a facility that is part of my community if it were available. I am in the process of doing some independent research in hopes of finding a website for an aquatic/fitness/health facility that might be ideal for our community. If and when I find it, I will share it.

    On a different note, I am happy with what my family pays to have acess to the Mt. Lebanon pool as it is today. Could our facility be better? Sure. Do I feel I am getting value for my money. Yes. Nonetheless, as I mentioned at the beginning, I view the study as a positive. I do have a concern though and it is one that has been expressed by others that have commented at this blog. That concern is one of cost. How much is a new facility, whatever form it takes, going to cost and how is it going to be paid for? I am willing to pay more for a new facility if the new facility meets the needs of the community. However, I’m a bit concerned about having to pay more for a new aquatic/fitness/wellnes/swimming faciltiy if I am also going to pay for a new high school that is rumored or to support the highly speculative Washington Park condominium real estate development that does not appear to be economically feasible without taxpayer assistance.

    To sum up, I am happy with the existing facility but would not be opposed to a new facility as long as it incoporates the needs of the community including the MLAC. However, I have reservations about what is is going to cost particularly as I believe Mt. Lebanon residents are going to be facing higher costs/taxes in the future if we also have to pay for a new high school and possibly help fund a new high end condominium project with TIF.

    IMHO

    Reply
  • 3. Dave Helwig  |  August 13, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    1. Swim center needs to be a swimming pool first and foremost–with 50yd/m lanes.
    2. Try other things to broaden appeal, but don’t ignore core constituency–swimmers. We are never going to put Sandcastle out of business, nor should we aspire to.
    3. Lagging attendance results from societal factors–many, many more recreational alternatives than in past decades–which all the bells, whistles, and Lazy Rivers in the world may not be able to completely overcome.
    4. Try to accomodate to one of those factors–cyber couch-potatosim. Video game area for kids. For all ages how about free WiFi? I’d never use it, but I bet a lot of people would. Free lockers to put laptops in when while swimming or occupied with kids?
    5. I’m really not crazy about the Lazy River idea. How about an area where people could play water volleyball or basketball?

    Reply
  • 4. Bill Dougherty  |  August 14, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    I agree with the need to have focus on swimming and not just fun for kids in the water. While 0 depth entry is nice for getting kids acclimated to the water, once they get to like it, the thrill of leaping off the wall into 2-3 feet of water provides hours of entertainment for them. Generally, when I see 0 depth entries you get that or jumping into 5-6 feet of water on the far side of the pool.

    Reply
  • 5. Mary Larsen  |  August 27, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    I use the pool during the adult swim and love it!

    One thing that would make it better would be to paint arrows near the lane lines so that swimmers would take the advice to swim laps with the lane line at their left shoulder. I think some extra signs would help those that still don’t “get it”. Swimming around the lane line helps the pool accommodate a lot more lap swimmers without having to bump into each other.

    After this summer I would also advise some kind of bug/bee deterrent on the grass. Several of us were bitten a few times.

    Reply
  • 6. Steve  |  September 5, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    I agree with Ms Larsen’s last comment. Our family does not like to frequent the present pool due to the over-abundance of yellowjackets in the snack bar area. It is so overwhelming that you cannot sit down to eat without the high likelihood of getting stung. And for those people that are allergic, well you see where I am going with this. My suggestion would be to move the snack bar indoors with an indoor eating area. The locker rooms certainly need upgraded as well. I think the pool itself is wonderfully laid out and a treat to swim in but needs a heater!

    Reply

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