An indoor pool at Spellerberg park just doesn’t make sense

I will go on the record and say that I am not opposed to an indoor public pool, a few years ago I would have said no way, but with the construction of the Sanford Sports Complex and with the SF School District paying out millions in salaries to ‘administrators’. I have no doubt the city is ready for such a facility, and the school district can afford to pony up (even though several private ones already exist that you can pay a fee to use, just like a public pool).

There are two things that I would like to see explored first before building an indoor public pool at Spellerberg;

1) A possible partnership with the Sanford Sports Complex and building the facility there attached to one of the other entities (Like the Pentagon or the Hockey facility).

2) A partnership with the School District to build an indoor pool at either one or all of the high schools.

Recently, all knowing, and all wise, city councilor Erpenbach said in an Argus Leader interview we couldn’t build at the high schools because of ‘liability issues’. You mean like the liability public schools have to risk with other sports like football, wrestling, basketball, volleyball and even cheerleading, because, you know, they are all less dangerous then swimming. Nice try Michelle, but I am not buying your excuse.

The facility could easily be split up during school hours so that city staff would monitor one side and the school district would monitor the other side. This isn’t rocket science and I’m sure former law partner with Davenport-Evans, Sue Simons, Vice-Super, could draw up a plan.

What concerns me even more is the vendetta the Argus Leader, or at least it’s publisher has with the Drake Springs outdoor pool advocates. Calling their petition drive and election a ‘fiasco’. So much for democracy and the fourth estate protecting that democracy.

All I have ever asked from elected officials is to be honest and to use common sense. The stand alone public pool at Spellerberg makes no sense, and our elected officials, and even our local newspaper are not being honest about the cost. Looks like another ‘fiasco’ will have to occur to put this on the right course.


#1 larry kurtz on 08.27.12 at 5:55 pm

What in the hell do you people do there during a real winter anyway? Giant sun rooms or big-ass plexiglass domes might keep a few from going insane when it’s -35 for a month straight. You poor fux….

#2 Pathloss on 08.27.12 at 6:08 pm

The Argus is not free press. The only major advertiser is the city. They’re not democracy and want you to read propaganda not unlike Channel 16. I don’t read it anymore. Sounds terrible but there’s better more accurate reporting in the shopping news. For detailed local news, I rely on web sites such as this and (occasionally) the Rapid City Gazette. They should staff & sell print here. There’s an opening for honest unbiased accurate reporting.

#3 Nature Lover on 08.27.12 at 8:57 pm


Take a walk through Spellerberg which is smaller than McKennan. One third of the park has already been usurped by the city for detention ponds and rendered unusable. Park and Rec’s Spellerberg project maps show the totality of the huge indoor multi-level complex of 2 pools, commons area and meeting rooms along with other amenities, outdoor splash areas plus a parking lot of 203 spaces will consume almost half of the total park area. TSP’s architect claims they are building the huge complex into the northern hillside to “disguise its size.” If approved, it appears the park is scheduled to disappear and become not much different than the usual large building hugged by an enormous pad of cement and an occasional newly planted small tree or two!

Incidentally, they claim they are “saving the trees.” Which trees? Why the “perimeter trees” of course. It was latter admitted over 100 trees, many 30-40 years old, will be destroyed! I always thought beautiful mature trees were extremely important aesthetically to parks, “the gold of the park” and highly valued!

A parking lot of 203 spaces is quite sizeable, right? But the city knows it will not be enough. The city has requested permission to use VA parking, thus acknowledging the available space at Spellerberg to be too small by some 50 additional needed spaces to serve the parking needs of the proposed indoor pool complex. Furthermore, the VA has its’ own parking issues with daily parking overflow onto 22nd street and Garfield. Park Ridge businesses do not want and cannot absorb the overflow parking! And then of course, traffic issues will follow and bring along more taxpayer expenses like adding turning lanes and very unhappy neighborhood residents. Sounds like more efficient planning to me!

They definitely need to reevaluate placement for this indoor pool complex and find a better, more workable location with room for growth, ample parking, and preferably 4 lanes for traffic. Spellerberg Park is not a good site location with its’ inadequate parking and absolutely no room for growth.

I further agree that partnering up to split costs with another interested organization such as the school district or locating this indoor pool facility at the Sanford sports complex is logical, more efficient and far better planning.

#4 Detroit Lewis on 08.28.12 at 8:42 am

If we are going to spend millions to build this place, we might as well do it right. And destroying a park, and possibly a neighborhood is not a good idea.

#5 Alice15 on 08.28.12 at 8:56 am

VA has parking issues of its own? BS! I live in this neighborhood and their parking lots empty at 4:30. By the time I drive by at 5:00pm – there is plenty of parking to assist with overflow. We have parked there many a times and there has never been a problem. I wish the VA would learn how to be better neighbors in the fact that their sidewalks have giant potholes in them of which they said would be fixed this month and the giant contractor/construction eyesore they have going on at 26th & Garfield that shows no signs of getting cleaned up anytime soon. If people really cared about this park and this neighborhood as they say they do – they would be riding the VA to clean up their own areas.

As far as this pool, my family lives in this neighborhood and we whole heartedly support this project in the MIDDLE of the city. It is an investment in the central component of our city which needs to continue for the overall success of the city. You cannot continue to put everything in the outskirts of town. We do not need another pool that is open for 10 weeks out of the year. This project is going to happen and it would have been perfect at the current Drake Springs as that was much more open land and not a “true” park, but people wanted Drake Springs and that is fine – but now the next renovation is Spellerberg and it is time for a facility that is available 52 weeks out of the year and can be an economic opportunity year around.

#6 Detroit Lewis on 08.28.12 at 9:09 am

Well, the VA has already said they won’t let them use their parking. Why? My educated guess is because they have to do maintenance on their parking lots and they don’t want to pay for the wear and tear of people who are using their lots for swimming. They could sell us the lot to the north, because like you said, it is empty and night. As for the pool, like I said, I support an indoor public pool, but a stand alone facility makes no sense at all, especially when the infrastructure already exists at the Sanford Sports Complex.

#7 Sy on 08.28.12 at 9:21 am

What Alice said. Plus, throw in the fact that this neighborhood is aging and updating this park with a year round rec facility compliments the improvements being made at the zoo. As the older generation moves out, young families will have more incentive to move in.

And the retention pond at this park hasn’t made it unusable, drive by it after 6″ of snowfall and you’ll see about 100 kids out there sledding.

#8 l3wis on 08.28.12 at 9:23 am

Maybe they can build a sled slide off the roof of the new pool :)

#9 Sy on 08.28.12 at 9:24 am

And can we for once have a facility that doesn’t have the name “Sanford” slapped on it? Nothing against them reaching for the checkbook, but instead let’s as a City put on our big boy pants and do something worthwhile and visionary on our own for fux sake.

#10 Detroit Lewis on 08.28.12 at 9:31 am

It would be visionary to save taxpayer’s money on this project and put it with the HS’s. When I mentioned my idea to former city councilor, Bob Jamison, he said this, “The high schools need to promote more LIFETIME SPORTS, and swimming is one of those.” This ‘vision’ came from a man who is in his 70’s. The city seems to think they have an open checkbook when it comes to these projects. I’m surprised they didn’t suggest we put the project 500 feet in the air like the Space Needle!

#11 Detroit Lewis on 08.28.12 at 9:33 am

As for bonding more money for ‘entertainment and recreation’ we must tread lightly. Munson’s little spending spree has cost us. The city is aproximately $113 million from it’s debt ceiling. Couple more pools and play things and the debt ceiling will disappear, real quick. Then what does SF do when we have an emergency like we did with the sewer backups? But hey as long as the romans are entertained who cares if the city is burning down?

#12 Sy on 08.28.12 at 10:53 am

“It would be visionary to save taxpayer’s money on this project and put it with the HS’s.’

So you save money by building 3 indoor pools in place of 1?

Take a peek at each high school’s site from google earth or bing bird’s eye. You would have to take out practice fields or parking lots on all of them to add an indoor pool to each one. Then what? Build ramps?Make the kids drive out to the airport to practice soccer, track or football? You’re talking Events Center type $$ now, buddy boy.

#13 Detroit Lewis on 08.28.12 at 11:00 am

I think I was pretty clear about the school district sharing the cost on the project. They have money, lots of money.

#14 Alice15 on 08.28.12 at 11:10 am

And where are all of these HSs that could “maybe” house an indoor pool? – the outskirts of town.

These projects aren’t going to send us into debt – the EC is. And remember – when we wanted multiple facilities under one roof – the fine people of this city opted for a summer wonderland park (Drake Springs) that only uses half the land that was available – so guess what you get – a stand alone facility. As I said – it is fine that people voted down the center at Drake Springs – but be careful what you wish for. In my mind if you voted against the rec center that included a sizeable amt of private funding from Avera – then you should keep your yap shut on this project as this is the what you receive for past decisions.

#15 Detroit Lewis on 08.28.12 at 11:19 am

Alice – I suggest you do what the Hockey Association is doing, and go out and raise private dollars for this project, if it is ‘needed’. I’m sure all kinds of people will open their checkbooks since this is so ‘needed’, then you can profit from the facility, oh, that’s right, private indoor pools already exist in the city that charge a fee . . . my mistake. When the city talks about ‘needs’ they fail to mention that if something is ‘needed’ it will make money, like the public courses do. They have yet to present a budget analysis that shows the public indoor pool will make money. Why? Because it won’t. I am all for building these facilities, if they are ‘needed’ and can be self-sustaining. But you don’t have that evidence on your side, do you?

#16 Alice15 on 08.28.12 at 11:32 am

How do we know that there isn’t already interest in contributions of private dollars? Oh that’s right – you don’t know that either.

There are private indoor pools in this town – but none are large enough or constructed in a way to host swim meets or other water sports. This is where you make your economic opportunities and dollars. I would also suggest that you do some research on what a city makes in sales tax revenue when families show up in droves for a swim meet and stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, and shop in our DT and at the mall. It is very easy for you to attack me on so-called not doing my research – but have you done yours before you nixayed a project that will enhance and revive the central part of our city? I think not.

#17 Detroit Lewis on 08.28.12 at 11:41 am

Okay, why was the Spellerberg location chosen? Because it is ideal for indoor pool? Because citizens said that is where they would like to see an indoor pool? Nope. Because it is the next pool to be replaced. Gee, Deja Vu, just like Drake Springs. There has been ZERO studies on where this thing should be, and that is what bothers me the most. Do grain elevators build as far away from RR tracks as possible? NO. I would just like to see ONE single study that asks the public where they would like to see this place, I can guarantee, that 26th and Western would not be their first choice.

#18 Alice15 on 08.28.12 at 11:57 am

These are the same people that allowed themselves to believe the EC should be in an industrial park when every other city was and is now building their largest investments in their DT. You cannot constantly keep putting your facilities in your outskirts. You have to consistently keep investing in the central components of your city otherwise we all will pay in the end in areas of redevelopment, crime, etc. Remember – I live in this neighborhood. I know it is really easy to state this is a bad location or people do not want this here – but guess what – I do want it here and so does my husband and so does many, many others. Just because we didn’t get up from our lazy boys and watching CNN to come say “not in my nighborhood” doesn’t mean that many aren’t for this project. Plus – when you give people a choice between an indoor facility that can be utilized year around and another Drake Springs – there are many that will select option A every day of the week and twice on Tuesday. And if Kermit isn’t hearing this side as well as the opponents – than he isn’t listening, or better yet, is choosing not to listen.

#19 Sy on 08.28.12 at 12:46 pm

Kuehn Park has an outdoor public pool, as does Frank Olson, McKennan and Laurel Oaks. All of which are a within a few blocks from a high school. Building a year-round, indoor swimming pool at each High School would canabilize the existing pools.

The AL has the numbers to show what the Drake Springs advocates refused to believe: If you build it, they will come;|newswell|text|Home|p

#20 Scott on 08.28.12 at 1:29 pm

Industrial park makes me giggle every time.

#21 cr on 08.28.12 at 2:15 pm

The City has held two public meetings regarding the future of Spellerberg Park.

The question for the City from Day One has been……is the physical footprint of Spellerberg Park large enough to support the addition of an indoor aquatic center?

At the first public meeting (May 9th), the facilitators explained that the tentative plans drawn up by TSP include a lap/swimming pool, a separate leisure pool and a splash pad. They went on to explain there would be parking directly to the south of the aquatic center, AND they were working with the VA on securing an agreement for additional “shared” parking.

At the second meeting (July 12th), the flyer that was handed out still indicated that a site advantage was secondary parking nearby (VA). When questioned about this, Director Kearney said secondary parking would not be included in the MasterPlan. I have it from a reliable source the reason there will be no shared parking is because the VA has refused to sign the proposed agreement.

The fact there was a need from the beginning of the planning process for “shared” parking is a “RED FLAG”!

If the physical “footprint” of the park is large enough to support an indoor aquatic center, why would you need a “shared” parking agreement with the VA?

At both public meetings, Director of Parks and Rec, Don Kearney, has emphasized no plans have been drawn up, the City is only seeking public input at this point.
When in fact, indoor pool proponents and representatives of the swim teams have met with the architect, TSP, to view tentative plans for an eight lane 50 meter olympic-size pool with a collegiate diving area, a separate leisure pool, and a splash pad.

The park will have a total of 203 parking spaces provided south of the indoor aquatic center. As a point of reference, Drake Springs Aquatic Center includes a four lane 25 meter pool, a current channel, and a spray park. It is less than half the size of what is being proposed at Spellerberg. There are 137 parking spaces adjacent to the pool with an additional 55 “shared” spaces across Fairfax Avenue next to the SkatePark, for a total of 192 spaces.

Does the City really believe that 203 parking spaces are enough to support an indoor aquatic center at least twice the size of Drake Springs?

In addition, REMEMBER, this is a facility that will be open year round. The MasterPlan does not even begin to address the parking needs for the sledding hill, tennis courts, basketball court, volleyball pits, playground, picnic shelter and ball field.

Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods (esp. to the North and East), business owners at Park Ridge, and the VA need to be paying close attention to this issue. This is where park users will be looking to park when the 203 spaces in the Park are already in use!!

The “physical footprint” of Spellerberg Park is not large enough to accommodate what is in the proposed MasterPlan and also provide adequate parking.

#22 Alice15 on 08.28.12 at 2:53 pm

So there has been basically no parking in the past except for the small lot by the pool for all of the things that are stated above, and somehow it has worked. Additional parking is just that for this facility – additional parking. Current parking has served the park and its current immenities in the past and now all of a sudden it won’t? Please. I have never been a fan of parking on 22nd St or 26th St for the park or the sledding hill – but it will still serve that purpose for parking whether this is an indoor facility or not.

The VA won’t sign off on parking but I bet they won’t stop anyone either. We have parked there for years and noone has ever said a word. By the way – the VA is a government entity hence isn’t that parking lot paid for by federal tax dollars – hence you and me?

As a person that actually uses this park, has coached her kids for sports in this park, and plays tennis with her husband at this park, the new design for this park is actually a much better “physical footprint” for familes. It puts all of the outdoor recreation in one area so families may enjoy multiple things. Right now you have the basketball court and tennis courts down the hill from volleyball, the park, and the picnic shelter. That is a terrible set-up for families. The grassy areas stay for practices or running your dog, etc. The bike and walking paths all remain.

As a RESIDENT of this area – I and many others are ready for this opportunity.

#23 Scott on 08.28.12 at 3:14 pm

Alice is the opposite of a NIMBY. She loves everything that is IMBY, and we all should “shut our yaps” if we don’t agree.

#24 cr on 08.28.12 at 3:28 pm

Alice15 and Sy,

I have attended monthly Park Board meetings for the past 6 years.

I know from listening to the Board’s discussions that Spellerberg has NOT been chosen as the site for an indoor aquatic center based on its being the “ideal” location.

After the Drake Springs vote, a well–known SF family notified the City they would like to donate land in the SW part of town for an indoor aquatic center.

The City was “banking” on this land for an indoor pool. When the economy went south in 2008-2009, the family was forced to withdraw their offer.

It was at this point, the Board turned their focus on Spellerberg. Not because it was the ideal location for an indoor pool, but because it was the next pool that needed to be replaced.

Is this really a responsible way to make a decision about a facility that is going to cost over $20 million and is being funded by the taxpayers??!!

#25 Jo on 08.28.12 at 3:48 pm

All of those in favor of the indoor pool at Spellerberg should leave their home address with the city planners and we can look at putting your pool in your front yard. Your neighbors will love you. Or the indoor pool can be built around Sanford or Avera because their parking lots are mostly empty by 5pm. Actually all of the churches in Sioux Falls have empty lots during the day and evening, maybe the pool can go next to a church. McKennan Park is central Sioux Falls but they were allowed to vote no to their proposed pool. As for the “outskirts” or industrial park areas, Sioux Falls is not a big city. If you want all the benefits a larger town offers then you will drive 15-20-25 minutes to get there. You can’t have it both ways. In the case of Spellerberg, do you want a park or an entertainment center? Anyone who tells you, it will draw families, remember Jefferson is being shut down. Lots of traffic and no schools is not a wish list for people buying homes.

#26 Sy on 08.28.12 at 5:34 pm

We live on the East Side, and we brought our kids to Drake Springs I’d bet 15-20 times over the course of the summer. We never had to park across the street and typically we found spots in the first row every time we went, whether that was early or late in the afternoon. Also remember that the neighborhood around Spellerberg is a lot more pedestrian friendly than Drake, as Drake sits at the intersection of two major arterial streets.

Also, have any of you ever went to a “Evening in the Park” they do at McKennan? There’s about 20 actual spaces at McKennan and these events usually draw several hundred people. They park on the streets and walk to the park, do their thing, and they leave. It’s no biggie and the neighborhood hasn’t gone to shit because of it. Get a grip people.

Parking won’t be an issue at Spellerberg, it’s a Red Herring to give the naysayers something to rally around.

#27 cr on 08.28.12 at 7:36 pm

Four to five evening concerts every year at McKennan that last 60-90 minutes hardly compares to an indoor aquatic center that would be open 365 days a year for potentially 12-16 hours a day!!!!!

#28 Alice15 on 08.28.12 at 8:04 pm

CR – I respect the fact that you attend all of these meetings, but there are many of us that stay as up to date as you and we don’t have to physically put our keester in a seat to do it.

Seriously – do people actually think this place is going to be busting at the seams 12-16 hours/day? Give me a break. It is one facility of many. Will it be busier some times more than others – of course, but this whole freak out and worse case scenario that usually some people paint on here is ridiculous.

#29 Scott on 08.28.12 at 8:05 pm

Not to mention those two “major arterial streets” should have been widened years ago!

#30 cr on 08.28.12 at 8:47 pm

Currently, the only way to stay “up-to-date” on what occurs at Park Board meetings, is to attend in person.

There is no audio or video recording, and if you review the Park Board minutes on-line, you will find them to be very “sketchy”!

I encourage citizens to attend–they are the third Tuesday of every month at 4:00. They are held at a different location each month, available on-line at

Given that Parks and Rec will control 20.1 million dollars for capital and operating costs in 2013, it behooves citizens to try to understand what it is they do with all those tax dollars.

#31 Jo on 08.28.12 at 9:41 pm

The current plan is the pool will open at 5:30am and close in the evening; times may vary for weekends. Among many indoor pool facilities across the country (north and south and neighboring SD) they report the same results as the Swim USA web page; indoor pools are very expensive and operate at a significant loss. Even with team competitions using the pool for tournaments, the indoor pool will cost more to be open than the fees/registration collected from visiting swim teams. If there isn’t sufficient pool use (fees paid), this will be one expensive white elephant. Widening Western after the indoor pool is built, will take parking from Park Ridge and the new indoor pool lot, and will put Western Ave right close to the front door of the pool building. Widening 26th will take land from the detention pool and put Children’s Care facilities very close to the street. Widening 22d will take from what’s left of the original park area consisting of the ball field and up to the playground. Of course homes along all three streets will lose front yards, some for the second time.

#32 rufusx on 08.28.12 at 10:14 pm

Jo – Outdoor pools are even less a “profit center” to any indoor pool. Much worse “ROI”. MUCH. That argument simply doesn’t hold enough water to keep your blankets wet.

#33 Jo on 08.28.12 at 11:50 pm

That’s not true. Outdoor pools are profitable versus the indoor pool such is planned for Spellerberg. Indoor pools are huge energy consumers. The pool over a 40 year life could cost some $60M. And that’s if the motors, pumps, ventilation system, etc in the machine room along with the building itself and pool don’t need major replacing over the 40 years.

#34 l3wis on 08.29.12 at 5:52 am

“Seriously – do people actually think this place is going to be busting at the seams 12-16 hours/day?”

Alice, for once, I agree with you. I don’t think the place will be busy at all except if some event is going on. Why? Because it is a stand alone facility. That is why building it at the sports complex (next to other sporting facilities) or at one of the HS’s makes more sense, because then it will see actual usage.

#35 Alice15 on 08.29.12 at 8:37 am

For once? Geez! :)

My family has a membership at a private club. That pool is used all day long as this one will be. Now – the busier times are obviously in the evening time, but between lap swimming, water aerobics, little dude swimming lessons, etc – it is used all day long.

I just have a hard time with this stand alone facility concept. We had an opportunity to have all of these under one roof and that plan wasn’t good enough – even with private funding. Now ALL of the facilities will be stand alone facilities and we’re complaining about that. It sounds like some will complain and fight no matter what the plan, funding, etc.

#36 Detroit Lewis on 08.29.12 at 8:45 am

“We had an opportunity to have all of these under one roof and that plan wasn’t good enough”

It wasn’t that it wasn’t good enough, it was over the freaking top! Way too extravagant. How can Avera build an entire fitness center for around $10 million (which includes indoor swimming) But when the city wanted to build one it was $30 million? People just don’t trust the way the city spends money.

#37 Craig on 08.29.12 at 9:01 am

Here is my question… since when did people feel they NEED an indoor pool? We live in South Dakota people – we have seasons. There are plenty of other activities you can do in the fall and winter to occupy yourselves and you don’t NEED an indoor pool to stay active.

Most kids love swimming, but most acknowledge it is a treat and not something they can do every week of the year. For most kids it is a summertime staple – and the only other time they have the pleasure is when the family takes a trip and happens to stay at a hotel. It is a treat because it is rare… if you give a kid chocolate milk every day for lunch and take them to ChuckECheese every Saturday they will bore of it because it isn’t special anymore.

When the outdoor pools close down, kids lace up the hockey skates and grab the sleds. When the ice starts melting they pick up a baseball or a tennis racket or a soccer ball.

Why this sudden desire to have all things available all of the time? I just don’t get it.

It seems we need indoor hockey, indoor tennis, indoor football, indoor swimming… what’s next – a plan to build a roof over the bike trails so we can use them 365 days a year?

Seems to me this is just another example of people thinking their government needs to be able to give them everything they want, and they don’t seem to care how much debt it takes in order to make it happen.

#38 Alice15 on 08.29.12 at 9:36 am

$30 million included EVERYTHING – swimming, hockey, gym, weight room, etc.

After doing a little research, I found there are 22 swim meets in the state of SD between Oct. 20th, 2012 and March 1st, 2013. Some weekends have more than one in different locations. This is just swim meets. Imagine if we could house meets and champioships here instead of sending our athletes away every weekend.

#39 Sy on 08.29.12 at 10:53 am

Also, that original indoor plan at Drake had indoor soccer fields as well. It was intended to be a year round, multi-sport recreation center and the idea was it was cheaper and more efficient to make it multi use under one roof so you can share operating costs. Like any park, it wasn’t intended to be a profit center..but by combining multiple underserved sports in a central spot that we already owned, it made it a lot closer to breaking even than building a bunch of stand alone facilities on the edge of town.

@Craig, No offense, but you sound like you’re coming from the perspective of what childhood was like 20-30 years ago. Not saying that’s bad or good, but in this day and age with computers, games, social networks ad nauseum I think there’s more pressure today than in years past to yank the kids off the couch and actually do something physical. Year round facilites expand those options, just like Malls expanded shopping options from the old Main street model. I don’t think Sanford is building all these things as a profit center, as we know from the above discussion they aren’t. I think Sanford is looking long term at the costs of an unhealthy population (heart disease, obesity, diabetes) and looking to hedge those expenses by making sure the next generation or two has the facilites to stay active & healthy.

#40 Detroit Lewis on 08.29.12 at 10:54 am

“a plan to build a roof over the bike trails so we can use them 365 days a year?”

#41 Detroit Lewis on 08.29.12 at 10:57 am

They plow them, so we can use them all year long.

#42 Detroit Lewis on 08.29.12 at 11:02 am

Sy – Kids are fat and lazy these days. Would a swimming pool help? Maybe. The problem is that parents don’t make their kids do chores anymore so the desire to do something physical to begin with isn’t there. Physical fitness starts at home with parents, it isn’t the city’s responsibility to make sure your child isn’t a couch potato. That is just plain silliness.

#43 Nature Lover on 08.29.12 at 11:21 am

Questions about Spellerberg proposed pool to proponents:

1)Where is the study conducted by the city for best placement of an indoor pool complex? (There is none.)

(Research: Municipalities are best served to plan for an ever-evolving market by choosing a site that can be expanded upon. ) (Spellerberg which wil be consumed by this proposal, and was simple chosen because the pool is next on the list to be renovated. When is the city going to get it right, leave our small inadequate parks alone, and find an adequate site with room for growth, ample parking, and served by streets with 4 lanes?)

2)Where are all the related cost proposals?

(Research: The reality is that a 50-meter pool is only used for competitive purposes by an average of about 5 percent of the local population. Outdoor pools produce income 20-30% above operational expenses.)

(Operational expenses for a complex this size are expected to be over $1,000,000 annually water, chemicals, humidity, staff, etc. CAN THIS PROPOSED FACILITY SUPPORT ITSELF??? Operational expenses alone brings the logical person to the conclusion that a partner venture and sharing of expenses makes more sense. Do not forget, operational expenses are ongoing yearly. Forty years in operation is $40,000,000 dollars. Do you advocates really think the facility can pay it’s own way?

3) What has this newly organized swimming group been doing over the past 6 years? Tennis and hockey groups has found donated land and have raised significant funds. How much in funds does your group have to offer?

Conclusion: Even if you had significant funds, and could pay operational expenses, Spellerberg is still not the best location. There are too many negatives such as no growth room, parking limitations, and future traffic issues, street changes of adding turning lanes, potential widening, and the loss of 1/2 the park’s aesthetic and usable green space to cement.

Responsible and transparent government never proceeds without full disclosureof ALL future expenses and thorough studies. Street work expenditures should not be overlooked.

#44 l3wis on 08.29.12 at 11:25 am

NL – Thank you for your honest assessment. Like I have said, I am not against an indoor public pool, this location is not ideal.

#45 Sy on 08.29.12 at 11:49 am

“find an adequate site with room for growth, ample parking, and served by streets with 4 lanes?”

So larger than the 25 +/- acres that the current park is (not counting VA land) and on a major arterial like 41st or Minnesota Ave?

You just added at least $4 million to the project cost, and you’d still need to replace or renovate Spellerberg.

#46 Sy on 08.29.12 at 12:23 pm


“Physical fitness starts at home with parents, it isn’t the city’s responsibility to make sure your child isn’t a couch potato. That is just plain silliness.”

Nor am I sayin’ it is the City’s responsibility. It is however in the City’s best interests to keep up to date with their recreational and sporting facilities, particularly if it wants to maintain positive growth patterns. As NL pointed out, these things have a long lifespan and if designed and located properly you maximize your dollars spent on doing so.

#47 rufusx on 08.29.12 at 3:29 pm

Jo – I have it from an architect who should know, and from employees as well, that the YWCA pool on the West side is probably the single most energy efficient structure in the city – if not the state. Design is critical. Think – if the building uses geo-thermal combibed with passive solar and active solar to heat the water – there’s no need to heat the AIR – as the water will do so. Humidity control is the only real concern. Maybe you’re thiunking aboiyut the way iundoor pools were designed a few decades ago – where they burned fossil fuels to heat water???

#48 scott on 08.29.12 at 4:11 pm

Anyone have a guess how much a pass will cost to this thing? You can bet you can’t get in with your swimsuit patch. A good spot to build it would be off one of those four lane streets that lead to cornfields that Munson had built on the east side of town.

#49 Sy on 08.29.12 at 4:49 pm

scott, I’d guess since your patch gets you into Spellerberg and Drake this would fall into the same category since it’s replacing Drake. The East side does need a pool, but this location is better as it’s bought & paid for and many people in this neighborhood would simply walk or bike to the pool in the summer = less need for a huge parking lot.

#50 scott on 08.29.12 at 5:25 pm

Since it would be open year round, prices would need to be raised since the swimming season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. What happens from September to the next May?

#51 Jo on 08.29.12 at 8:10 pm

Agree geothermal would be smart since they’ll be digging 40 feet for footings and certainly for anything that is to be around 40 years from now.

#52 Alice15 on 08.30.12 at 10:42 am

DL – MAybe the kids you know are fat and lazy – but there many of us that still shut the TV off and remain active with our kids and woud like the facilities when it is 10 below out to remain as such. Man do I get sick of people grouping all people together!

As I have done further research as it seems I am the only one that is doing this before saying screw you to this project, I found out that on average, there are 300 athletes over the course of a weekend that will participate in a swim meet. Now I am not saying 300 different families will attend as kids and families tend to pool their resources, but lets say there are 225 families that come to SF and spend an average of $400(which is on the low end) on a weekend. That is $90,000 extra that creates sales tax revenue. Take this times 5 extra meets over the course of a year and that is almost half a million dollars coming into our city. All for a stand alone facility – and that is just swim meets.

And one more question to those of you that are against this project – do you do anything to remain physically active? Not just swimming which is by far one of the best things you can do for your physical well-being, but anything at all?

#53 Detroit Lewis on 08.30.12 at 11:07 am

Alice – I think I have stated several times that I am not against an indoor pool, I just don’t agree with the location.

#54 Sy on 08.30.12 at 11:51 am

Got another one in mind DL?

Preferably one that doesn’t add $4 million or more to the cost?

#55 Alice15 on 08.30.12 at 1:47 pm

SO we don’t want to add cost to the project but we don’t want it at a location where it is slated to be renovated, is in the CIP budget, and the city already owns the land? Sorry – can’t have it both ways and the school district is not going to do this. They supposively do not have the funds to sanction the sport of soccer which literally hundreds of kids are involved in in SF, so they certainly aren’t going to add a pool.

#56 cr on 08.30.12 at 2:05 pm

For all those who were not at the Council’s work session yesterday…….

The issue of the indoor pool has been referred to the Council’s Land Use Committee.*

Parks and Rec and the Council will be developing a long-term aquatics study, INSTEAD OF choosing a location by “default” for a 20 million dollar ++ taxpayer funded facility.

*Spellerberg has not been taken “off the table”.

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