TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Vigo County School officials think they have the most cost-effective solution to save the swim programs at all Vigo County high schools.
When the pools at Terre Haute North and South were built back in 1968, a lot of forward thinking went into these facilities. Unfortunately for them, time has passed them by, meaning they need to be replaced.
At Monday night's Vigo County School Board meeting, renovations for three pools were estimated at 10 to 13 million. However, the School Corporation proposes building one centrally-located facility at a cost of 8 to 9 million.
"It would be great for the School Corporation, it would be great for the community,” said TH South Swimming Coach Jeff Thompson. “I think it would be a real feather in the cap of the Wabash Valley."
One facility means the three high school programs would have to share it for practices and meets. However, all three coaches are on board with this facility, because they see so many benefits.
"We swim against each other in the high school season, but that's a small slice of the swimming pie,” said TH North Swimming Coach Mike Williams. “We train together the entire rest of the year."
"We would have more opportunities to host more events in our community not just at the high school level, but at the club level as well," said Thompson.
The North and South pools only have six lanes for competition. However, today's competitions call for eight lane pools, plus a separate area for diving. A larger facility allows our local athletes to compete in larger meets at home, a nice economic boom for the area.
"As a swim fan, it's going to be fun to watch big meets come to Terre Haute, whether it's big high school meets, sectional meets, club meets, NCAA meets... All of those things are going to be very exciting to watch," said Williams.
The School Board voted to move the project to its next step, which is a public hearing. That will take place on July 22. The School Corporation proposes using a bond issue to fund the project. If the project gets the go-ahead, the current pools would be closed and re-purposed as classrooms.
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