Dickson explores indoor aquatic facility, changing outside park pool

0
20

The City of Dickson Parks Advisory Board recommended a new indoor pool facility – while expressing a desire to add an outdoor area later – that would replace the current public outdoor pool at J. Dan Buckner Park.

City officials are proposing the facility for Henslee Park, which is estimated to cost between $1.5 million and $2 million. The facility would be adjacent to the paddling pool and playground. The proposed pool is at least 75 feet by 50 feet, has six lanes, and has a deep end of at least two meters. The facility would have changing rooms for men and women; a party room; and a training room, Parks and Recreation Superintendent Cherie Wilson said at the Aug. 9 board meeting.

City council must first approve the project in the coming weeks before development can begin. The council has already approved $1 million for some type of pool project in the park’s budget.

“I know people like to swim outside even in the summer,” said Councilwoman Stacey Levine, who serves on the parks advisory board. “But I think this is the right first step.”

Dickson Mayor Don Weiss Jr. said he realized many people like outdoor pools. However, he said city officials and the J. Dan Buckner Park pool facility have reached a crossroads.

“We know that Buckner Park (pool) is not a repair, it’s a replacement,” Weiss said.

The mayor said he was concerned to approach the council with a recommendation for a pool estimated at $1.5 million to $2 million after another year in which the pool was understaffed with lifeguards.

“We started this year with 28 lifeguards. But on July 1st we were already at seven or eight,” said Weiss. “By August 1 we had shrunk to six and couldn’t even use the weekend in August.”

He believed the council would probably resist spending up to $2 million on a new outdoor pool that will be used 2-3 months a year.

Weiss and Wilson said an indoor facility would mean the water sports area could be open year-round and the city could hire full-time employees to do the jobs. They believe it would mean fewer staffing problems than the Buckner pool, which relies mostly on school-age teenagers.

Weiss said he liked the idea of ​​an interior design, while he may also have worked with architecture firm Kimley-Horn and Associates on a facility that also has an outdoor space. Kimley-Horn has been working with the city on a long-term park plan for years.

“Maybe we can look at a retractable one,” said councilor Horace Perkins, who also serves on the park’s board of directors.

As with the current pool at Buckner Park, Wilson said the indoor facility would have access, adding that visitors could also “go outside and go to this playground and splash pool for free.”

The party room, which was matched to the Tennsco Community Center, would also be rented. Weiss said the community center is “permanently rented.”

“If we had another one, it would remain rented out permanently,” Weiss said.

The mayor said he believes Dickson is “ready for some sort of multipurpose facility.”

“They will be operational all year round. You’ll be able to swim in December if you’ve never been able to,” Weiss said.