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SUMMARY OF THE
“FOCUS ON AQUATICS” PUBLIC HEARINGS - 2001

• Tuesday, May 8, 7-8:30pm at College Twp. Building
• Wednesday, May 9, 10-11:30am at Ferguson Twp. Building

1.         Welcome and IntroductionsVolunteer Members of the Aquatics Task Force:
              Dr. Rick Marboe, Chairperson         Member, Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
              Cindy Solic                                 Member, Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
              Dr. Tom Griffiths                          Director, PSU Aquatics
              Dennis Ditmer                             Executive Director, S.C. Area Family YMCA
              Tim Pfeuffer                               SCASD Aquatics Supervisor
Consultants:
              Judith Leblein                            Water Technology Inc.
              Kelly Harris, RLA                         Hoffman & Popovich Architects, LLC.

2.         Overview of the Centre Region Aquatics Feasibility Study by Dr. Marboe (5/8) and Mr. Woodhead (5/9)The study is exploring if and how the existing public pools and programs should be updated, and also if a third community pool should be considered. The study is being funded by five of the COG municipalities, the PA. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the State College Area Family YMCA. Additional information about the Aquatics Feasibility Study is available at the CRPR: www.CentreConnect.org/crpr

3.         Nationwide Trendsin Public Aquaticsby Ms. LebleinSlides were presented showing a new dimension in aquatic facilities. Ms. Leblein talked about the process of program development, basic design consideration, site design consideration, and transforming an existing facility. The focus of the new parks is on family recreation. All of the facilities shown were municipal pools. The slides encompassed water slides, pools, lazy rivers, water interactive areas, deck areas, sun/turf berm, shade, sand play, sand volleyball, concessions, entry/change facilities, and mechanicals.

4.         Comments & Questions FromResidents moderated by Dr. Marboe or Ms. LebleinSome questions that were presented by Mr. Woodhead at the beginning of this comments and questions session were: - Are the aquatic needs being met in the Centre Region? Do residents have access to adequate aquatic facilities?
- What do our community pools do right? Should the community pools be improved? If so, how?
 - Should a third community aquatic facility be considered? If so, what type and at what location?              

May 8 Comments:              

1)           Attendee: Mr. Alvi Voigt indicated he felt overwhelmed by what he had seen. He uses the pool to lap swim and was concerned that there wouldn’t be a place to swim laps. He also was concerned because he sees the pools being crowded only on the very hot days. He asked about the funding used now for the pools. Member of Task Force: There will be space for lap swim. Fund to operate the are received from customers (60%) and from the municipalities (40%).Attendee: He also questioned if a projection had been made of unmet needs to the costs. He questioned whether a new recreational facility would be popular enough to draw people to swim (in view of all the private pools in the area).Member of Task Force: A projection of unmet needs to cost has not been completed yet as the task force is still gathering information. Family aquatic centers in other areas have been very popular even where traditional pools and private pools are available.              

2)           Attendee: Ms. Vivian Baumer questioned whether the facility would be an indoor facility so there could be more swimming year round. She also wondered if the rest of the population would prefer an indoor facility.Member of Task Force: Mr. Griffiths indicated that preliminarily it appears that we will be looking at an outdoor facility because the YMCA is planning on building an indoor facility. At the beginning of the study, it appeared that PSU would build a new indoor facility, but the indications are that money is not available for an indoor facility at the University. Mr. Ditmer related that the YMCA would be starting a feasibility study next week. They have preformed a needs assessment that established a need for an indoor facility. They have also performed a marketing study that shows the finances are there. They are looking at a cool water, competitive pool and they are also looking at a warm water, therapeutic pool.Attendee: Ms. Baumer stated that she thinks a lot of families would go to the newer facility with a combination of functions.Water Technology: Ms. Leblein related that competitive and lap swimming would always be prevalent in any new design but would combine all the functions instead of isolating them.Task Force Member: Dr. Marboe commented that the reason the pools appear crowed most of the time is that almost everyone is trying to use the shallow end. The task force and community needs to think about the needs that are going unmet. Each facility both public and private is meeting the needs of some portion of the population. The task force must look to the future and the aquatic recreational needs of everyone.Task Force Member: Dr. Griffiths asked if a leisure pool was built, will it recover significantly more than 50% and the more traditional facilities recover less than 50%?              

3)           Mr. Woodhead presented an email sent to him by Rayne Dennison. The email is from a resident who lives here and who uses both the Park Forest and Welch pools as well as other publicly and privately owned pools in the area. Although University personnel who could swim at the University, they chose to swim elsewhere and were critical of the personnel, quality of instruction, and cost. Recognizing that the current outdoor facilities are old, they still question whether the area needs another facility that will drive up costs and make swimming costs even more noncompetitive so that less people can enjoy swimming in the pools.                            

May 9 comments:

1)           Attendee: Peggy Reed was concerned with the air and water quality at the Athletic Club because her girls were experiencing problems.Task Force Member: Dr. Griffiths indicated that some newer energy efficient facilities are experiencing problems with the air quality. He explained how the water and air systems work and the pool requirementstomeet health and safety rules.              

2)           Attendee: Tom Daubert related that he was a 30 year season ticket holder to Centre Region Parks and Recreation pools. He indicated that one of the things he thought should be changed at Welch is that there is no place to learn how to dive there from the sides of the pool. You can’t learn by diving off the board and you are not allowed to dive off the side at the Welch pool. He was excited about the facilities he saw in the slide presentation and thought the task force was on the right track.

Water Technology Inc.: Ms. Leblein stated that she would not be comfortable with people diving off the side at Welch pool due to the ledge built in the pool under the water. People diving would not realize the risk and could easily hit the ledge causing injury.

5.         Adjournment         May 8 meeting adjourned at 8:12 pm;  May 9 meeting adjourned at 10:55 am

Two outdoor swimming pools are operated by Centre Region Parks & Recreation, an agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments:

Park Forest Community Swimming Pool, located at 2100 School Drive in Patton Township, was opened in 1970 and renovated in 1991. During 2000, Park Forest Pool hosted 14,935 recreational visits during the 100-day season (does not include lessons or swim team uses).

Wm L. Welch Community Swimming Pool, located at 670 Westerly Parkway in State College, was opened in 1959 and renovated in 1982. The water slide was added in 1987. During the 100-day summer 2000 season, Welch Pool hosted 31,120 recreational visits (does not include lessons or swim team uses).CRPR also rents the use of the SCAHS Natatorium to provide community aquatic programs year-round.Meeting summaries prepared by Diane Ishler, CRPR Senior Secretary

The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities since 1966. The Authority also maintains 501c3 status.
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The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
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