Sunday, May 21, 2017

“It’s deja vu all over again” is a Yogi-ism (memorable funny line by Yogi Berra).

“SAVE OUR POOL! WE KNOW HOW! WE HAVE AN EXPERT!”, they all said two years ago.

“SAVE OUR POOL” is “deja vu all over again”, an LDub-ism, at the Lake Worth Beach.

However, this particular LDub-ism isn’t the least bit funny at all.

Next Tuesday at a City Work Session those who want to “SAVE OUR POOL!” will be packing the City Commission chambers — this is nothing new — the same thing happened two years ago and a couple years before that and before that too, at least 3 mayors ago. But back in 2015 those who wanted to “SAVE OUR POOL!” came forth and actually presented viable ways to achieve the goal of making the pool a community asset.

“Look at other pools that have made it work and emulate them”, they all said TWO YEARS AGO. And they actually found an expert to make their case:
One example? Wellington’s Aquatic Complex, “features a 10,000 square foot building with administrative offices, concession stands, showers, rest rooms, lockers and classrooms for first aid, CPR, and lifeguard courses.

One of the experts on pools FROM TWO YEARS AGO was an Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) and former lifeguard/water safety instructor at the Lake Worth Pool. Below is a quote from the expert, from a now-defunct former tabloid in April of 2015:
Look at other pools that have made it work and emulate them.
There are more quotes, ideas, and suggestions (many of them very good) from the expert below. Here are the pools the City of Lake Worth should “emulate” to be successful, as explained back in 2015:
  • Wellington Aquatics Complex
  • Ft. Lauderdale Aquatic Complex
  • Plantation Aquatics Complex
Let’s examine each one. Below is a photo from the Wellington Aquatics Complex.

Hmmm. Is that a water slide?
You can see more pictures of the Wellington Aquatics Complex at this website.

Now let’s examine the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex (FLAC). Here are the artist renderings from 2 years ago of a new facility that was being considered.

How about a facility like this at our Beach in the City of Lake Worth?
You can see more lovely images of the current aquatics facility in Ft. Lauderdale using this link.

Here is more information about the history of FLAC:

In 1965 Fort Lauderdale welcomed the first hall of fame for swimming with the opening of the then National Swimming Hall of Fame and Fort Lauderdale Municipal Pool. Since then, 10 world records have been set in Fort Lauderdale while serving as host to hundreds of national and international events.

Now let’s examine the Plantation Aquatics Complex in Plantation, Florida. The following is from their website:

The facility regularly hosts competition swim and dive meets and is home to the Plantation Swim and Dive Teams – both ranked among the top in the nation. Both pools [note the plural] and the water playground are open to the public year round, and lifeguards are always on duty. . . . Locker rooms, a pro shop and bath house facilities are available as well. Picnic tables and canopied areas compliment the facility and encourage family visits.

Part of the pool complex in Plantation. Hey, what is that? A high diving board? A water park for kids too!
Note all the above aquatic facilities have free parking. It cost $4 — each and every single time — to visit the pool at the Beach in Lake Worth.

Not very
“family-friendly” is it?

What do all these facilities have in common? They attract families, have modern amenities, and also have shops of some sort, whether pro shops or concession stands.

Here are more ideas from the expert cited above about the pool at the Lake Worth Beach:

  • “Push the fitness angle: Make the triathlon trail permanent (this can be handled by local businesses -- the city doesn’t have to pay for everything)”
  • Create packages for the pool, “parties in the Casino, bowling, movies.”
  • “Pool guards should be all part-time, to keep costs down.”
  • “Consider a subcontractor for Summer Learn to Swim. The county and/or private businesses that teach may be interested.”
  • “Contact Men’s Health Magazine and unabashedly lobby for a spot on America’s Top Ten Fittest Cities.”, and. . . “When that publicity kicks in, just answer the phones and check the mail.”
Lake Worth Leisure Services Director Juan Ruiz will certainly be inspired by these ideas. Unfortunately, because the Casino project and business plan was bungled by a previous city administration, there is little money to make any improvements now.

However, there may be some funds available in the travel budget to send a City official or two to Wellington, Ft. Lauderdale and Plantation to further investigate. You know, so we can “emulate” other aquatic facilities and be successful like other cities have been here in South Florida.

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