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Town Hall Meetings will look at pros and cons for pool

Joe Denoyer - February 19, 2024 4:12 pm

by Rachel Coleman

When you evaluate the cost and benefit of a community resource, it’s essential to ask for public input. That’s why Seward County Community College will host Town Hall meetings Feb. 26 and 29, to discuss the future of the college swimming pool, says College president Brad Bennett. And if a public meeting isn’t convenient for stakeholders, community members are welcome to schedule a one-on-one conversation.

“We’re hearing so many conversations around town, and most of them are not based on the facts,” said Bennett. “I’m available to talk with anyone who has questions. They can text or call on my personal cell phone.”

Bennett also noted that the Town Hall meetings are set up to look at both sides of the question regarding the upkeep, cost, and use of the SCCC pool, which is more than 50 years old.

“The pool is a great benefit to our community, there’s no question about that,” said Bennett. “However, when the board and administration looks at the numbers, it is not a sustainable trajectory. The bottom line is, we aren’t sure what is the best course of action.”

According to records from the past five years, the pool is operating at a net loss of $124,000 annually. Regular patrons of the pool include several Saints athletics team, three youth swim teams, and aquaerobics patrons and individuals who use the pool for lap swimming and personal fitness, totaling approximately 150 people each year. The college Wellness Center and Business & Industry offered youth swimming lessons this winter, which attracted around 30 youngsters.

Bennett emphasized that as yet, no decisions have been made.

“The college belongs to the community,” he said. “We are hoping for conversations with community members as we sort through the options for the pool and think about what is in the best interest of the community long-term.”

Town Hall meetings are set for Monday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference rooms above the student union and Thursday, Feb. 29 at noon in the same location.

SCCC President Brad Bennett is available via cell phone at 303-981-7026.

 

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