Wanted: A private pool for public use | AspenTimes.com

Wanted: A private pool for public use

Janet Urquhart

Aspen is looking for a swimming pool.

With the city’s public pool scheduled to be pulled from the ground sometime next spring to make way for a new recreation complex at Iselin Park, Aspen will be without its own swimming facility for more than a year.

So city officials hope to arrange for the use of a private pool to accommodate some public uses during the estimated 14-month construction period at Iselin Park.

Tim Anderson, city recreation director, said he has been in contact with the operators of a couple of facilities and is confident that something can be arranged.

“Right now, we don’t anticipate that the community will be completely without a pool,” he said. “We obviously don’t want the town to be without a pool if we can help it.

“I hope we can come up with something within the next month,” he added.

The city’s James E. Moore Pool at Iselin Park sees about 25,000 uses per year, but the public will likely have to settle for less pool time at a private facility, Anderson said.

“I don’t see 25,000 uses in a private pool somewhere in town,” he said. “But we hope to offer some lap swimming, some lessons and some public swim time.”

The existing city pool attracts about 200 people per day during the summertime. The city offers year-round swim programs there, and Aspen school students use the Moore pool for swim classes as part of their physical education program.

In addition, the Moore pool is home to the Aspen Speedos, a competitive summer swim team for youths.

“We really want to come up with a venue for them so they can compete. It’s an excellent program,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he would like to use just one private facility in town rather than spread programs around to various pools. He said he is not aware, however, of a private pool that is as large as the 25-yard, six-lane Moore pool.

The city may enter into some kind of lease arrangement for use of a private pool. With the Moore pool off line, the recreation department will look at budgeting some of the $200,000 operating budget for the city pool to pay for use of another pool, Anderson said.

The Moore pool generates about $55,000 annually in revenues through user fees, he said.

The $15 million recreation complex planned for Iselin Park, located along Maroon Creek Road, includes a new lap pool, a leisure pool, an NHL-sized hockey rink and a new youth center, along with five employee housing units. A third, outdoor pool is envisioned in the plans, but its construction depends on lining up future funding.

The recreation center will be built with a combination of public and private dollars.

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