Local citizens group discusses community swimming pool topic

Development of programming that serves several needs is the key to having a successful community swimming pool operation, a New Albany community group was told Monday.

Brian Manning of Ingomar, a retired naval commander and supporter of developing a community pool in New Albany, said programming in four areas would keep a community pool busy.

The areas are competitive swimming teams, both school-based and recreational; adult fitness; learn-to-swim programs such as those operated by the American Red Cross, and rehabilitation therapy.

Manning told a meeting of Engaging New Albany’s Citizens Today at the Coffee Addict that year-round community pools are expensive to build and maintain, but are important to improving quality of life in a community.

He said USA Swimming, the governing body of swimming in this country, can provide help in planning and development of a pool that would be the right size for a community like New Albany. Formation of the community support group would be one of the first steps, he said.

He said access to the New Albany city pool when he was growing up changed his life. He currently drives his son to Tupelo every day to participate in competitive swimming activities.

The meeting was attended by about 25 city residents including Mayor Tim Kent and two members of the Board of Aldermen, Jeff Olson and Johnny Anderson.

 The mayor said no money is available currently for development of a city pool, but land is available at the Sportsplex to add such a facility should one become feasible.