The Vigo County School Corporation is considering options to construct a new swimming facility in Terre Haute.
More than 100 people gathered at Sarah Scott Middle School for the Vigo County School Board meeting Monday night in Terre Haute. At issue was the renovation of three swimming pools at Terre Haute North, South, and West which officials say are all more than 40 years old and in various states of decay.
Board members said they were also concerned that none of the pools meet the standards of the Americans with Disability Act.
The public heard from representatives of Garmong Construction, a Terre Haute-based firm hired by the school corporation as a consultant on the project. Garmong officials presented four options for the board to discuss, which included the renovation of the swimming pools in their current location as well as the construction of a brand new, $9 million facility with one pool that could be used by all Vigo County schools.
Plans for a new shared, centrally located facility with increased lanes, a diving well and a therapeutic training pool were almost unanimously supported by those in attendance.
Vigo County Council President Bill Thomas presented the board with a proposal of his own to build a swimming facility with money from the county’s Economic Development Income Tax funds.
“It would be a facility constructed by the county, run by the county that would involve the community. It would be a two-pronged facility – an outdoor water park – an indoor competition pool along with an instructional pool if you will.”
Superintendent Danny Tanoos says that while he would consider the county’s proposal, he favors an option that puts Vigo County students needs first. Tanoos says that while teaching swimming is not mandated by the state, he feels the continuation of the program is important for Vigo Schools.
“I believe it has a place in a our school system, just like all other sports. I don’t think because, not all kids play football, but we still have a football stadium. Not all kids play baseball or softball or volleyball – but I believe that swimming is an important part of our academic program and athletic program.”
Tanoos says he will meet with the county council in the coming weeks discuss what kind of facility would best meet the needs of students and the community of Terre Haute.