Springville parents found something new to do with their children this summer - hang out at Spanish Fork's new outdoor swimming pool.
On several days, about half of the pool's patrons were Springville residents. While the kids splashed and played, the parents sat in the warm sun and talked about the good ol' days when Springville had an outdoor pool, but it wasn't owned by the city.For decades, the Park Ro She swimming resort along north Main Street was a Springville landmark. Many generations spent their summers hanging out and swimming at Park Ro She. My generation was one of them, and I have a lot of memories of those days.
Park Ro She gave kids something to do with their summers, gave them a place to socialize with others and kept them out of trouble. Nowadays, Springville kids hang out in convenience stores and grocery store parking lots. The parents basking in the sun at Spanish Fork's pool wanted to know why Springville hasn't built an outdoor pool to replace Park Ro She, especially considering that other than ball parks, the city has very few recreational facilities for kids.
Many approached me, thinking that as a reporter I should know everything, and wanted to know when Springville was going to build a recreation center and outdoor pool like other cities.
I remember a resident survey taken a few years ago that showed residents favor a recreation center, but that's the only time I heard city officials discuss the issue. So I recently asked them what their plans are for a recreation center and outdoor pool.
Here's the scoop - the city has no plan to build a recreation center and outdoor pool. Not in the next few years, and not in the next 10 years. Nowhere in the city's plan is a recreation center and outdoor pool mentioned.
The city's thinking is simple. Even though the survey showed residents want one, city officials are not convinced they really do. And they don't believe residents would be willing to pay for one.
They also believe a recreation center/swimming complex would be a money loser. City officials are still trying to justify the indoor pool, which loses thousands of dollars each year.
If Springville residents want a recreation center and pool complex, they had better get their forces together soon and convince city officials. They'd better convince city officials that the current pool loses money because it's not the kind of facility residents want. They'd better convince city officials that the city's youth, and adults, need a better recreation facility. And they'd better convince the city that the residents would be willing to pay for such a facility.
After all, if the city spends a couple hundred thousand dollars a year on the art museum, it could do the same for a facility that would benefit more residents. And the city would, if it knew that that's what residents want. If residents stop and think about how much they're spending now on recreation, it's money well spent.
If a recreation center and pool complex is not what residents want, then they can keep hanging out in Spanish Fork and spending their money there.