|Tomahawk Swimming Pool Will Not Open This Year|
The Tomahawk Swimming Pool, located in the Tomahawk Recreation Complex at 17501 Midland Drive, Shawnee, will not open this year and steps have been taken toward closing the facility permanently.
During the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Monthly Board meeting on May 15, Superintendent of Recreation Sharon Williams told Board members that the pool was originally scheduled to open this year, but during early preparations it was discovered that a pump for the pool could not be repaired as anticipated and would have to be replaced. Replacement costs, Williams said, have been estimated at about $9,000. To make matters worse, the pump would have to be special ordered and would take an estimated 12 to 15 weeks to receive delivery.
Based on these factors and the fact that $13,000 in repairs were made prior to the pool's opening two years ago, Williams recommended that the pump not be replaced.
In the past the pool. which first opened in 1954, drew as many as 50,000 participations a summer and operated in the black. But in 2001, participations totaled only 18,000, down from 20,000 in 2000, and has failed to generate much income. District Director Michael Meadors said the facility has become more of a neighborhood pool in recent years because of it's plain bathtub-like design and its lack of leisure pool amenities that have become the norm.
"If we repair it, we still have a dinosaur," Williams told the Board. "We would be handicapped in providing full services."
In response to Board member's inquiries as to whether youth would be displaced by the closure, officials noted there are a number of municipal and private pools nearby. JCPRD summer day camps and swim lessons which use the Tomahawk pool would be moved elsewhere, they said.
Meadors also noted that the District's 20-Year Master Action Plan (MAP 2020) calls for the eventual elimination of the Tomahawk Pool. Replacement of the facility with a new more modern pool would cost an estimated half million dollars and has not been included in MAP 2020, he added. No plans to raze the facility or otherwise use the space occupied by the pool have been made at this time.
The six Board members present at Wednesday's meeting voted unanimously not to replace the pump and to close the pool permanently.