LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The first of four public meetings focused on new aquatics facilities in Louisville was held Monday.
Louisville Parks and Recreation gathered community feedback at Sun Valley Community Center in an effort to develop long-term aquatics master plans.
“The jury is out and everything is on the table – that is why this is so important for people to come and tell us what they want to see,” said Parks and Rec Director Margaret Brosko.
The community feedback will help to determine future usage and investment ideas and strategies. There are currently four outdoor pools and an indoor aquatics center, Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center.
“We want to make sure we are making the right decisions,” said Brosko. “If we have the opportunity to make investments, we want to make sure it’s the right investment, long-term that’s going to benefit the most amount of people.”
Louisville’s public pools include Algonquin Pool on Cypress Street, Fairdale Pool at Nelson Hornbeck Park on Fairdale Road and Sun Valley Pool at Sun Valley Park on Bethany Lane. Norton Pool, at Camp Taylor Memorial Park, won’t open this summer.
The pools were built in the 1960s, and haven’t had any significant investment in quite some time, according to Brosko.
Mary Jackson attended the public meeting on Monday evening.
While swimming can be a fun recreational activity, to Jackson, whose mother was a Red Cross swimming instructor, it’s also a life-saving skill to her.
“My radar is up about swimming pools, we had to close several pools over the years for financial reasons I assume, that is heartbreaking to me,” Jackson said.
She wants to see more pools available in more neighborhoods, allowing community members to walk or bicycle to the aquatic areas.
Jackson doesn’t want to see pool-goers pay high costs to use the facilities.
“I don’t want the fees to be very high,” Jackson said. “As a tax payer, that’s something I would support.”
Brosko said Louisville Metro Council allocated $2.5 million in the most recent budget for the pools, which includes a study to research public and private aquatics facilities in Louisville.
The study aims to find out where gaps and programming issues exist around the city.
“There was a recognition that having the option for aquatics, swim lessons, things that are really life-safety issues for our community, people said ‘Hey, this is important, this makes sense, let’s talk about our pools and what’s needed,'” Brosko said.
The study is intended to create a “road map” for future pool projects, along with establishing how current pools should be utilized.
“It’s extremely important for us to find out exactly what people want to see when we talk about aquatics,” Brosko said. “Is it what the community really wants?”
Upcoming meetings include:
- Southwick Community Center, 3621 Southern Ave.
- Thursday, April 21, 6-7:30 p.m.
- Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center, 201 Reservoir Road
- Tuesday, April 26, 6-7:30 p.m.
- Newburg Community Center, 4810 Exeter Ave.
- Thursday, April 28, 6-7:30 p.m.
To fill out an online survey about your experience at the pools, click here.
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