Sioux City's Parks and Recreation Department held a meeting to gather input for Cook Park splash pad.
SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -
A public meeting to get input on the splash pad set to replace Cook Pool in Sioux City drew a small crowd early Tuesday evening.
In March, the City Parks and Recreation Department pulled the trigger on closing two pools, Cook and Leeds, after mulling with the decision for years. Mainly city officials and workers at Girls Inc., attended the meeting. "Yeah we were hoping for a few more faces tonight," said Matt Salvatore, Sioux City Parks & Recreation Director.
Despite small turnout, half of the people using Cook pool were represented. Girls Inc., accounts for that portion with their high volume of girls involved in summer programs.The executive director isn't entirely convinced a splash pad is the answer. "While the splash pad looks amazing, it's just not for everybody," said Mandy Engel-Cartie, Girls Inc. Executive Director.
Salvatore said ideally no one wants to lose their swimming pool, but his department is trying to do the best it can with splash pad plans. The pad will be about the size of the deep end of the current pool. Features are still being solidified, but the structure can transform. "There is the option of changing out features over the years so you can interchange them between the Leeds and Cook splash pad," Salvatore told KTIV.
The project has a $200,000 budget he added. $100,000 will go towards construction and the rest will be set aside for various features the department is still figuring out. They did give the initial designs to Girls Inc. to share with the girls and get their feedback. "I just don't think kids can spend as long a period time on splash pad, if they're older, than they would in a pool," said Engel-Cartie.
Mayor Bob Scott briefly attended the meeting. He suggested the non-profit buy the pool. Engel-Cartie said that's an idea the non-profit has never discussed, but she'll possibly raise the idea, after research, with her board of directors. "This was a complete surprise to have the mayor say 'well how interested would Girls INC., take it over'," Engel-Cartie told KTIV.
The possibility of that would change the dynamic of the splash pad Salvatore added. "The splash pad is not a done deal if they're serious about that."
As it for now, the pool would close at the end of the 2016 pool season. It will be torn apart in the fall should nothing come of the mayor's proposal.