The controversy over where to site the potential Bandon Swimming Pool is obscuring the basic issue: Bandon can have the best physical activity facility for all people in Bandon.
It really doesn’t matter where the pool goes except that the anonymous donor says put it in the City Park. OK, put it in the City Park. It is better to build the pool than not have it at all.
I can say this as someone who has coached, supervised and swum outdoors at Mingus Park Pool in Coos Bay for 49 years.
Mingus pool is not ideally situated, i.e. not next to a school and in a neighborhood. However, over the years Mingus has become a real asset to Coos Bay because of all of the activities it offers adults, kids and families. The Bandon pool can do the same.
One complaint I have heard about the proposed pool is the possible costs to run it. It will cost some money to run the facility as no swimming pool in the state is self-supporting.
However, if the Bandon Aquatic Center board is wise, they will tap into every income raising event possible by building a pool that is a minimum of 75 feet long and 45 feet wide, just like renovated Mingus Pool. The depth can be no more than five feet at one end and at least 3.5 feet at the other.
Why these particular dimensions? A basically shallow pool means less water to be heated. The length, width and depth indicated will allow swim meets to be held there, bringing tourists to Bandon.
One main income source that was overlooked at the Coquille pool is adult lap swimming. Mingus pool averages 20 adults and more a day swimming laps. That may not seem like much, but multiply 20 by 360 days and by the admission price, and that is substantial.
Bandon schools should incorporate drown-proofing for every student when the pool opens - another income source. There could be age group and high school swim teams that rent the pool. Physical therapy, water volleyball, and aerobic running in the water, as well as lap swimming are all adult activities to benefit the Bandon community.
A new pool in Bandon would enhance the entire city, attracting new residents, retirees and families - something hard to measure. Nothing beats a swimming pool to help all residents of a community.