Our neighbor to the east, Tupelo, is discussing replacing its aging public swimming pool, which has a bubble enclosure for year-round swimming, with a major new aquatic complex.
The Tupelo City Council is considering paying for an architect’s study to determine location and cost for a facility that is expected to cost as much as $7 million.
Tupelo is considering the investment because the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates such a center would bring an annual $2.5 million in direct economic benefits as out-of-town swim teams and their families come to compete there.
Why do we bring this up? Because it shows the contrast between Tupelo and New Albany. Here we do not even have a public pool, either outdoor or indoor. The closest thing to it is the small pool at the Healthplex, but it is not open to the public for general swimming.
A pool is an expected part of community services when families are considering where to locate in an area. We think we need to improve our community’s amenities if we are to get our share of the economic benefits from the new Toyota plant in Union County.
A well-run, well-supervised public pool would enjoy huge participation in our community. A quality public pool can bring in enough revenue to pay for its operating expense.
We also think swimming instruction should be available to every child in the community, preferably as part of the elementary school curriculum.
We need a progressive attitude, and a plan for moving ahead on several fronts to make our community an even better place to live and raise a family. A public swimming pool for our children is one of those fronts.