Pool debate continues; Danville to look into feasibility study

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, September 20, 2016



The discussion of a new pool facility for Danville was once again a hot topic debate among city and county officials at the Parks and Recreation Ad Hoc meeting on Monday. 

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After reaching out to Centre, Boyle County High School and Danville High School about the situation, Mayor Mike Perros said he came to the conclusion that this is a complex issue. 

“There’s a whole lot more to it than what I knew,” Perros said. “It’s an issue that exists, and sooner or later, it’s gotta be dealt with and there’s no easy answer.” 

He shared with the committee that the city has funds available in order to seek outside help and speak with a consultant about what they need to do to handle this issue. 

“We don’t have an answer, but we need to figure something out,” he said. 

The previous options discussed at the Parks and Recreation board meeting last month were brought up again for further discussion.

At the previous meeting, Parks and Recreation Director John Drake brought up the idea of installing a new pool facility at the Bunny Davis Center, where the current aging pool exists. 

“We could move the tennis courts out and move them to Millennium Park — which is where they belong — then you have all the extra land available,” Drake said. “With that, you may be able to put a new 25-meter pool and still be able to use the current facility.” 

Magistrate Jack Hendricks said he agrees with Drake and approves of the idea of using the Bunny Davis Center.

“We’re looking at huge, huge dollars,” he said. “I can tell you that there is no way I will ever come on board for a big fancy $8 million, $10 million, $12 million facility. We don’t need it … there’s gotta be an answer and it has be done in a reasonable manner.”

Based on conversation at the committee meeting, the idea of placing a pool facility at Millennium Park is also still on the table. 

According to Drake, it’s not a possibility to place a facility where they could have with the original plan for the park years ago. 

“It would be very difficult to accept a water park in the current master plan of where the park property lays now,” he said, adding that there are several aspects of the park that would be affected by this change if it were to happen. “There’s not another good area to put a water park.”

City Engineer Earl Coffey pointed out that the original master plan of Millennium Park is 20 years old. There have been other facilities other things built in the park that were not necessarily thought about when the master plan was originally thought of. 

“It sounds to me like that we are past due a reassessment or refocusing on what we have left at Millennium,” Perros said. “It sounds to me like the plan that was set up 20 plus years ago is already altered…”

Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said they should continue to look at the use of Millennium.

“We need to think about what we want in the long haul,” he said. 

There are several options still being passed around the committees and boards, but after much discussion, the ad hoc committee came to the conclusion that there needs to be a study done in order to figure out the best option to fulfill the community’s needs.

Committee members agreed it would be a good next step for the city to work on a feasible study and then present the outcomes to the committee and the board.