LETTER: Updating high school pool good for community

By: 
Greg Brown

To the editor:

The Shawano School District is again surveying those who live within its borders to gain information on how to address possible capital improvements. The project I would like to discuss today is the pool at Shawano Community High School.

There are several reasons why a school district might want to renovate its swimming pool. I believe the following is worth considering when responding to the question of either closing or renovating this community swimming pool.

This pool has been in operation for over 25 years. Over time, competition pools may experience wear and tear, leading to safety hazards or non-compliance with modern safety standards. Renovations can address these issues and ensure the pool meets all necessary safety regulations. Infrastructure upgrades can address an aging pool that may have outdated plumbing, filtration systems, or electrical components.

Renovations can modernize the infrastructure, making it more efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run. A renovated competition pool can be a significant draw for potential students and athletes.

It may also encourage current students to participate in swimming and other aquatic sports, leading to increased participation and interest in the school’s programs. The pool at SCHS has often served as a community resource outside of school hours. Renovations can make the pool more versatile and accommodating for various aquatic activities, allowing the school district to engage with the broader community and promote a healthy lifestyle.

I understand there is a cost to having a swimming pool at SCHS. Money is required for lifeguards and other necessary pool staff. We as a district have endured these costs for over 25 years. We can find ways so community programs can exist at the same time as school swimming team practice.

Although renovation costs can be significant up front, updating and modernizing the pool’s infrastructure can lead to reduced maintenance and operating costs in the long term.

Newer technologies and energy-efficient systems can save on water, energy and chemical expenses. I have attended school board meetings and have confidence in the ability of the school district maintenance department to develop a maintenance program, which will add to the life expectancy of a renovated pool.

In closing, I would like to add this thought. A modern, well-maintained pool can improve the overall image of the school and the district. It showcases a commitment to providing students with quality facilities for sports and recreation. A school district with recreational facilities like a pool can be attractive to potential homebuyers and investors.

Greg Brown, Shawano