The Skagway Borough Assembly has approved the addition of a lap pool to the Skagway Recreation Center expansion conceptual design.
Earlier conversations with the Skagway Recreation Board and the Skagway School Board questioned a school location for the pool, but it was decided the rec center would be the best option.
In a discussion about the pool in the March 20 assembly meeting, assembly members agreed that a pool would have benefits to the community, but they also wanted to ensure residents know that just because it’s been added to the conceptual design doesn’t mean it will be constructed, though it is now a real possibility.
The idea for a pool has been around for years and the most recent study was about ten years ago, at which time SRC director Katherine Nelson said the town was just not ready.
“The conceptual design that was created back then was very extravagant and very expensive for a town of this size and we still needed a proper clinic, not to mention numerous upgrades to other areas of our community,” she said. “In addition, financially speaking, we were in a much different place then — I recall regular annual requests to cut back my budget every year when I was already working at a bare minimum.”
But people continue to inquire when the rec center will get a pool.
“We decided to take another look, but this time propose something on a much smaller scale where members can swim laps, we can teach our kids how to swim, and people can do physical therapy,” she said. “Not to mention birthday parties and water aerobics.”
In an effort to define long-term goals, Nelson has been working with the Recreationa Board to develop a master plan for the facility and surrounding properties.
In 2012, the municipality hired Corvus Design to create a conceptual layout that is being find-tuned according to the interests of the community via a survey Nelson created in 2010 and member and community feedback.
Nelson said she created a survey to see what kind of interest the community had for a lap pool, and it generated 382 signatures.
“We are working with North Wind Architects on the design of our north expansion and in doing so we have asked approval from assembly to include the conceptual design of this lap pool, because the expansion will be building next year must take into consideration the possibility of pool either to the west or east,” she said. “Having this laid out now saves a ton of money and allows for the creation of a Master Plan that is no longer conceptual but reality based.”
Over the last month, there had been talk of creating a pool at Skagway School, but it was decided that it would cost the school too much money and they would need to take care of the upkeep and require courses in swimming.