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Pool Feasibility Study holds forum

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

The public is invited to attend a community forum regarding the results of the Pool Feasibility Study at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the conference room of the Community Schools of Frankfort Education and Administration Center.

Community input is encouraged at the forum, and HWC Engineering will present the results of the study as well as ideas generated by the Pool Feasibility Study Committee on how to move forward with the public pool at TPA Park in Frankfort.

The Pool Feasibility Study Committee is comprised of community members Erin Swinford, David Howell and Angel Marcum, Board of Works representative Jim Siegfried and Frankfort City Council representative Eric Woods, who replaced Wanda Mitchell when she resigned.

“This committee has met over the past few months to talk about what the future of the TPA pool looks like and came up with some ideas,” Frankfort Parks Superintendent Travis Sheets said. “HWC Engineering has worked on other pools and aquatic centers across the state to evaluate the community and see what they might want as far as a pool facility. They also conducted an online survey, and all of these results will be available Thursday evening.”

In its current configuration, the pool had its first full season in 1992, during Sheets’ first stint as Frankfort Parks Superintendent.

“It was a brand new facility,” Sheets said. “Fast forward to me coming back to the community, and we filled it up and had it ready for the season (last year). Two days later, we had lost three feet of water, and we didn’t know where it was going. So, we had a leak detection contractor come and asses the situation, and they had difficulty finding the problem but eventually did.”

What was found was a structural problem between the deep and shallow ends of the pool and a hidden crack.

“To lose that amount of water, it had to be a major crack,” Sheets said. “We were able to band-aid the (crack) and get through the season.

“The day after we closed the pool, we lost another foot of water, so the band-aid got us through the season,” he added. “That was luck.”

Sheets says the idea is to see if the pool can be salvaged or if it is better to create something new.

“If we do that, then what,” Sheets asked. “A lot of communities have gone to aquatic centers instead of just swimming pools. We have seen that is our biggest competition as well. We had very low attendance this year. A lot of people go to (aquatic centers) in Lebanon or Lafayette.

“We have come up with some ideas and are open for additional ideas from the community on what they want to see in a pool facility,” he added.