SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Recreation District board of trustees has taken the first real step toward funding a new Kendrick Pool.
Last night at their regular meeting, the board finalized details of a capital funding request letter they plan to submit for a new Kendrick Pool.
Parameters of the new pool, including square footage and even its location will be left up to the capital facilities task force.
The capitial facilities task force is made up of the mayors of all the municipalities in the city of Sheridan along with representation from the Board of Sheridan County Commissioners. Capital facilities tax money distribution is placed on the county election ballot and voted on by residents.
The preferred option discussed Wednedsay night carries a $4.73 million price tag, but SRD director Richard Wright pointed out that, right now, “we just want to be considered as a project.”
Kendrick Pool was built in 1937, and upkeep of Sheridan’s only outdoor pool has become more and more costly in its later years.
Wright said that when considering options for a new pool, they fought with the decision of whether to keep the pool at its current location or to find a new site. They’ve encountered problems in the pool’s 75-year life there that would limit the size of a new pool.
The board pointed out last night how the location has created issues with drainage and parking due to the pool being built up against a hill and the elk refuge. The board wants to enlarge the bathhouse and keep the zero entry pool that was built in 2002, so they would have trouble expanding the pool’s size without reducing already limited parking.
Three new options were discussed Wednesday including a 10,000-square-foot pool for about $5 million and an 8,000-square-foot pool for $4.3 million. Rebuilding the bathouse would add on to those prices. The current pool measures 4,735 square feet, and the goal is to add 80 parking spaces.
Funding would be allocated, tentatively, over a two-year period with the new pool opening summer 2015, according to the letter.
Monies for design would be needed this year, with the bulk of the money, 70 percent, needed by next spring in order to begin construction. Under this plan, there would be no outdoor pool next summer while the new one was built.
Board member Alex Lee explained what his message would be to the committee.
“We have a pool and ice cream stand that are breaking even and an active board that will fight to make this work,” Lee said. “The location worries me…but we all love it down there.”
The pool had a net loss of $18,406 last year — similar to a loss the board allocates for every year in its budget. However, the SRD in 2012 saw the second highest pool revenue in a decade, according to an SRD 10-year outline of pool attendance and revenue.
After the pool watched attendance fall from 28,082 swimmers to 14,100 from 2006 to 2007, pool attendance has risen each year since then with 18,766 people swimming at Kendrick Pool last summer.
Lee added that this is not just a project for Sheridan but for the entire community. Of the pool’s 2012 attendance, 70 percent Sheridan were residents and 30 percent were from Sheridan County or outside Sheridan.
“We just need to show that this is a viable project from a business-plan standpoint,” Lee said.