A six-lane lap pool, whirlpool and combined kiddie and therapy pool were among the features discussed during a Skagway Recreation Center expansion meeting June 18.
Gerald Gotschall of North Wind Architects and Ryan Nachreiner of Water Technology Inc. met with members of the Rec Center board to discuss the needs and wants for an aquatic complex in the Rec Center expansion.
“The biggest thing is teaching everyone how to swim,” said SRC Director Katherine Nelson. “Our kids don’t know how to swim, and our adults don’t know how to swim.”
While other options will be explored and presented, Nelson said the Rec Center board was most interested in a six-lane lap pool because it would allow Skagway to host competitions.
The list of wants also included a therapy pool that could be used for wellness exercising and rehabilitation. After some discussion, Nelson asked for a pool design that would incorporate space for therapy and a shallow section for children to practice swimming.
Finally, the need for a whirlpool was expressed.
“It’s so cold up here in the winter, and people just need to get into that warm water,” Nelson said. “It’s social.”
Nachreiner said the critical factors involved in creating or combining pools is temperature, depth and deck space.
Pools used for swimming competitions generally have temperatures in the high 70s, while pools used for therapy or teaching children to swim have temperatures in the 90s. Most whirlpools range from 102 to 104 degrees. The depth of the pool also plays a factor in what it’s used for. Kiddie and wellness pools are generally shallower than a lap pool.         Finally, the deck space surrounding the pools has to meet specific codes.
Nachreiner said the pool size to deck space ratio should be about one to one.
As of the meeting, no diving boards, water slides or big embellishments were planned.
“It won’t be the pool you’ll find at a paradise island, but it will suit Skagway,” Nelson said.
After several years of discussion and planning, Nelson said the Rec Center expansion would include a bigger weight room, a cardio floor, a designated spinning area, a space for larger group fitness classes and a multipurpose room for events and babysitting.
The weight room in the current building would become storage for the gym and community events, and the upstairs cardio area would become a space for TRX and CrossFit training.
“This is something that is really needed in our community and would be highly used,” Nelson said. “It would benefit all ages, increasing the quality of life and health and wellness.”
Nelson said she is exploring four concepts for the Rec Center: just the expansion, the expansion with a pool, the expansion with a modified pool, or the expansion with the phasing in of a pool.
Gotschall and Nachreiner will draw up plans and come back in August for community input.