I have well documented the fact that I believe we need a new swimming pool in New Albany. One of the original columns that I wrote back in August of 2009 explained why I thought building an outdoor water facility was important. I pointed out that one of the hurdles that had to be cleared was the city and county working together to build a new pool. Now that the parks department has been split into two entities, I think the time has come to get this done.
A few weeks ago New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan requested funding grants from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County to be used to build a new Little League complex and an outdoor aquatic center. A potential site has not been established, but a few places have been discussed including the former Camille Wright Pool site and Sam Pedan Community Park. The cost of building the aquatic center is estimated to be around $8 million.
This year will mark the sixth summer that we have been without a pool in New Albany. Some people believe that maybe we are moving a little too fast. I believe it has been far too long. Maybe there hasn’t been much of a call for a swimming facility from the general public, but I have always believed that “if you build it, they will come.”
When the Camille Wright Pool closed permanently before the 2008 season, attendance had fallen off significantly over the final few years. I don’t think this was due to lack of support for a public pool in New Albany, I believe that the facility’s design was obsolete at the time it was closed and a more family friendly aquatic center would have been more popular. A “zero depth entry” design has proven more popular over the last several years and easier on families with small children.