2018-08-04 / News

Leap of faith at swimming pool


Chances to be one of the first three people to use the new diving board were sold as a pool fundraiser. Winners were, from left, Lily Sidelinger, Janelle Sidelinger and Katelyn Callahan. Chances to be one of the first three people to use the new diving board were sold as a pool fundraiser. Winners were, from left, Lily Sidelinger, Janelle Sidelinger and Katelyn Callahan. A new diving board was pressed into service for the first time during a ceremony at the com­munity swimming pool in Emporium, symbolizing a commitment to save the pool as a community asset at a time when rising costs and diminishing revenue have threatened the facil­ity’s future.

A 2017 study found that, over the previous five years, the annual cost of the facility at the Cameron County School District campus was $36,000, while it generated an income of just $4,000 annually.

Parents and other com­munity members appeared before the school board to urge members not to follow through on a proposal to close the pool.

Kindergarten teacher and pool director Leah Purcell took a lead role in forming a committee to draft a plan to improve the economics. So the pool remains open for the 2018 swim season and committee members are continuing their work.

“We’re going to start with a few small ideas and make suggestions to the school board that will im­prove the facility and ben­efit the pool users,” Purcell said. “We’ll eventually submit a long-term plan to sustain the pool.”

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