Everyone in … on the pool

By on October 29, 2014

Residents tell council, ‘Do whatever is needed’

Lititz Springs Pool

Lititz Springs Pool

Kerri Hample can’t imagine Lititz without the Lititz Springs Pool.

As vice president of the Lititz Springs Swim Team, Hample was one of seven people who stood before borough council Tuesday night and expressed a deep desire to keep the pool a staple in the community.

Council asked residents to share their comments about how much effort and money the borough should consider putting into the three swimming pools (baby pool, large main pool and a lap pool) which are open to anyone who residents in the Warwick School District.

“It will be a long, expensive journey &tstr; whatever we do with the pool,” said Karen Weibel, council president.

While there aren’t any apparent problems with any of the pools, Weibel said, everything is old. The pipe system itself has been intact about 50 years, she added.

Whatever investments might be required over the next few years, residents at Tuesday’s meeting said they want to make it happen.

Melonni Shields, coach of the swim team, said more than 120 kids are part of the program offered at Lititz Springs Pool. If the program were to ever dissolve, she said, it would be a huge loss to the community.

“No other program can absorb our swimmers,” she said. “I know how valuable sports and athletics are to high school kids, and this is an asset that fuels our school system.”

Hample added that the program also helps kids who just want to swim.

“Everything kids do these days is so stinking hard and competitive,” Hample said. “Just let them have the water.”

Some designs that have been circulating of what the pool could be, should it be redesigned, are too extravagant, Hample said.

“We just need a pool. We don’t need anything fancy,” she said.

Those images were the “Taj Mahal” of what the pool could be, Weibel said, but council didn’t even know the cost estimate of the latest design.

Since the Lititz recCenter started managing the pool this past season, some residents expressed concern over price hikes, but think it could be a good resource for marketing or program expansion.

Nancy Leed, who has been a member since the pool opened, said she’s not sure people would be able to justify the cost if it increased.

“It cuts down on the community aspect of the pool when not everyone can enjoy it,” she said.

Borough council doesn’t plan to make any changes to the pool until additional discussions are had, Weibel said.

“We really don’t know what challenges we might face until we open again in the spring,” she said.

Weibel hopes the borough can create partnerships to help improve the pool, and reach out to the entire community, not just the Lititz taxpayers, who pay for the general upkeep of the facility, she said.

One of the challenges of the past year has been training the recCenter staff to maintain the pool so borough staff can be freed up to do other things. Federal and state mandates to follow storm water in the area has eaten up most of the time used for other things, Weibel said.

“We won’t make any decisions under the cover of night,” Weibel said. “It’s really important for us to hear from (the community) first.”

Rebecca Hanlon is a freelance reporter for the Lititz Record Express.

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