Oct 29, 2015 2:15 AM by Anthony Peters
When the Chico summers reach their hottest, one thing has cooled off residents for the entire history of Chico, swimming. But now, as Shapiro Pool readies to close, the Chico Area Recreational Department is looking to the future.
"We have two pools currently, both are aging. one is slated to be closed, so that would leave us with one small pool for the entire community," CARD general manager Ann Wilman said. "So it's time for us to start looking at other options.
One of those options is a new aquatics center, which CARD has begun discussing with the public what components and amenities they would expect in a new facility, to determine how much the new center would cost.
"We do not have the funding for it, at this point," Wilman said. "We are looking more at what the components would be and what price tag would be associated with that before we go out and look for funding."
Currently, the only two pools open to the community are Shapiro Pool at Chico Jr High and Pleasant Valley Pool at Bidwell Jr High. After the spring, Shapiro will close leaving Pleasant Valley Pool. This lack of facilities has brought hardships on not just recreational swimmers but the local high school programs.
"We have trouble accommodating all the swimmers in the community," Chico High swim coach Dene Ehrhart said. "It would be fantastic to see other kids get in the sport."
But the new aquatics center, when finished, would not just be for competitive purposes it would be open for all people off ages.
"now we got to sort through all that and come up with what the mix would be to meet, not only swim teams and water polo but children and birthday parties and the entire community needs for the facility," Aquatics Design Group President Dennis Berkshire said.
CARD will be holding another public meeting sometime after November.
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