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Water park discussion continues at session

What’s on the wish list for a new pool facility in Kenmare?

7/31/13 (Wed)

New pool in region offers sample . . . A new little "Leisure Complex" at Carlyle, Saskatchewan, offers an example of a spray and splash park that might work out for Kenmare. The Carlyle community was faced with problems similar to Kenmare, having a large, older pool with major maintenance and repair costs.   The community was able to quickly raise the funds to build the new pool, which opened earlier this summer.

 

Kenmare currently in the “dream” stage of planning
By Caroline Downs

What’s on the wish list for a new pool facility in Kenmare?

Kenmare Recreation Board president Fay Froseth asked each person attending the first water park planning session, held July 22nd, to name their dream for the pool.

Those answers came quickly:

Wave pool, water slide, games area, snack bar, indoor-outdoor options, lap swimming and sauna capabilities for adults, playground associated with the water park, a “lazy river” feature, splash park, year-round swimming, handicapped accessibility.

The challenges facing the group now, according to Froseth, are to examine all the options related to repairing or replacing the pool and to develop an affordable plan for the city.

She emphasized that the current swimming pool does not pose any safety or health hazards to children or adults at this time. However, a tour of the facilities in June revealed several issues that need to be addressed with the 33-year-old structure, including the bathhouse walls, the roof, the concrete in the pool itself, and the furnace, among others.

“Do we put tens of thousands of dollars into something we use for two months every year, or do we move forward with something else?” Froseth asked the group.

She explained that since discussing the pool with the city council in June, suggestions had been made regarding the location for a new pool facility, including the Jaycee Park adjacent to the present pool, a site near the Quilt Inn, and on the Kenmare High School property.

The group briefly discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed site, then returned to the topic of the facility itself. Froseth recommended individuals at the meeting take some time to review pool and water park designs at the Ramaker & Associates, Inc. website at www.ramaker.com. She noted the company, based in Sauk City, WI, has a page devoted to the eight phases involved in building a water park.

“We’re in the ‘Dream’ stage right now,” she said, “but this gives us an idea of what we’re looking at.”

The Ramaker website also features photos and floor plans of projects they have completed. Froseth suggested group members look at the 7 Clans Casino Waterpark under the “Resorts/Waterparks” tab and at the Tri-County YMCA and Youth Leadership Academy examples under the “Community Pools/Schools” tab. “Please look at what projects they’ve done,” she said, “and let me know of other companies you find, doing similar projects.”

Members of the group agreed they would like to participate in a conference call with representatives from Ramaker to discuss options and costs for a Kenmare water park. Mayor Roger Ness recommended additional preparation work before that session.

“This comes down to what we can afford,” he said. “The number one thing we’ve got to do in order to get any funding for this is to have a plan. That plan can have options, and I think one option has to be repairing our own pool.”

Individuals discussed other suggestions, including building a structure to enclose the present pool and the upkeep and maintenance required for a year-round facility as compared to summer use.

“We could throw $100,000 at the pool and $50,000 into the Jaycee Park, and have a nice summer facility,” said city council member Christian Standard.

Issues with staffing, liability and responsibility for a new pool or water park were raised, as well.

The group returned to the brainstorming stage, though, with Ness saying, “We need a place for bowling, curling, swimming and hockey all together as a community center!”

As the laughter around the table subsided, Froseth noted she would call Ramaker & Associates regarding possible ideas for a Kenmare project and the related cost estimates. “Then I’ll contact you for the next meeting,” she told group members. “And when you come, you can bring someone else along with you!”

Anyone interested in further information or in participating in a community project to repair or replace Kenmare’s swimming pool is encouraged to contact Froseth at 701-848-6269.