Sunday, June 11, 2017

“SAVE OUR POOL!” and “deja vu all over again” in the little City of Lake Worth.

Stay tuned. We learned at the last City Commission meeting that City Manager Michael Bornstein will be putting the “scope” together and a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) to consider an operational pool of some type or even possibly a water park.

But don’t get excited. It could take many years before a new pool is built or even if a municipal pool will be located at our Beach. More and more people are talking about a new pool somewhere else in the City. A place more accessible for the public, especially families with children.

But for some perspective, it’s important to remember two years ago there were many who marched to City Hall to “SAVE OUR POOL!” — who actually presented viable ways to achieve that goal — instead of just getting upset, moaning, and carrying bright pool noodles to the City Commission in protest.

“Look at other pools that have made it work and emulate them”, they 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 use the former 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.”
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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