This is no surprise, before the doors of the Midco even opened there were plans to expand the indoor facilities;
South Dakota’s largest community is readying to spend tens of millions of dollars overhauling its pool system, which could include a pair of brand new indoor aquatic centers.
The plan to expand indoor facilities has been talked about for a long time. In fact, the bonds they are proposing have been on the table for years.
I am NOT against building indoor rec facilities that have multiple uses, but when we are losing $700K a year on just one indoor pool we have to ask ourselves some serious operating expense questions. If these community centers are meant to help those who can’t afford private fitness clubs why not have certain hours where they are FREE to use by anyone?
Leon Younger, President of PROs Consulting, reviewed the alignment with the Park System Master Plan, with the following main points: replace aging aquatic facilities; renovate and update aquatic facilities to extend their useful life; adult fitness and wellness programs; year round programming; maintain the level of service with population growth; address the shortage of indoor recreation space. Younger also stated the following recommendations: prioritize indoor multi-generational recreation center with aquatics at Frank Olson or Kuehn Park, ideally both; follow Master Plan for McKennan Park with replacement of wading pool; add shade and upgraded concessions at Terrace and Laurel Oak parks.
We can’t say on one hand we are here to help the less fortunate then turn around and charge an entrance fee like we do that already at many city owned facilities.
You will also find that the largest number of people who filled out the survey were from the SE district in North Harrisburg. It makes you wonder if that district is more targeted online to participate in the survey. The SE district is what shaped the last city election, and now we are letting them shape policy.
It will be interesting to see what kind of operating expenses the Parks Department comes up with.