HAMPDEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) – A consulting firm is fielding public opinion on what locals would like to see in a new or upgraded pool.
Kansas City-based Waters Edge Aquatic Design held a public meeting Tuesday to share results of a feasibility study examining the past, present and future of the Hampden Township pool.
“I’m excited at the prospect of maybe changing things up a little, I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve gone for so long,” said Camille Wenger, a frequent pool visitor.
Wenger wants to see more options for shade and maybe even a diving board for her daughter. She’s also concerned about non-members and larger groups that don’t always respect the rules.
“It’s hard to wrangle the kids, I’m not sure if there are ways to maybe make their interests a little bit more focused than running around like crazy kids,” she said.
Lauren Ozburn, a representative of Waters Edge Aquatic Design, said the purpose of the meeting was to get a feel for what users want to see.
“We want to know how has this facility performed in the past, and if there have been changes, and there have been, why?!” Ozburn said. “The first step is just to understand how are people using it now and how they want to use it in the future.”
The current pool was built in 1973, and is considered to be in fair condition.
In the last 10 years, Ozburn said overall attendance is down 31% while membership attendance is down 45% in that same time frame.
There are 14 other aquatic centers within a 10-mile radius of the current Hampden one, which may be contributing to that declining membership.
The feasibility study looks to be completed by year’s end and will incorporate public input, leading to design options being put forward.
The feasibility study is being paid for, in part, by state grants from the DCNR and from pool user fees.
Another public meeting is set for October 30.