Sitkans had a chance to share their ideas for a Mount Edgecumbe High School Aquatic Center on Friday.
The Legislature has appropriated $20 million toward designing and building the project. It will be part of the Edgecumbe campus and the school will pay to maintain and operate the facility.
Brian Meissner of ECI/Hyer Architecture discussed early plans with 40 to 50 people attending an open house at the Edgecumbe gym.
He says the pool will try to meet a variety of needs.
“There’s a training need. And that has to do with the Mount Edgecumbe physical education part of it – lifeguard training and the others – as well as the troopers [and the Coast Guard]. There’s a competition need, and that is a swim team type of thing, and maybe a diving component to that, we don’t really know that yet. And then there’s the recreation thing,” he says.
Meissner says many variables are being considered. One is the length and number of lanes.
Swim coach Suha Tokman argued for large, 50-meter, competition-centered pool.
“I’d like to see 10 lanes, not eight lanes. Because if you build an eight-lane, 50-meter pool, then you might as well not build it. With an eight-lane pool you can’t really host a serious swim meet here,” he says.
Meissner says the pool will be expensive. One state estimate for a $17-million facility suggests maintenance and operations could cost the school more than $300,000 a year.
He says revenues from swimmers and user groups will not cover much of that operational cost.
Meissner brought drawings showing four locations under consideration. Here are photos of those drawings. The pool building is green and parking is white.