SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Mike Smithers Pool
By Morgan Barry


January 19, 2011
Wednesday AM

The Ketchikan Borough is currently in the pre-construction process for a new swimming pool that will adjoin the Gateway Borough Recreation Facility. I'll proudly admit that I voted for the Bonds, so I'm glad to see it moving forward.

That being the case, has anyone heard if the Borough has any plans for Mike Smithers Pool (the Kayhi Swimming pool)? As far as I know, there aren't any ideas. Allegedly (if there are reports, I will come right out and say that I have not read them), the issues with the structure were not due to faulty construction, but as a result of the moisture, heat, and humidity: common problems for swimming pools. So I'm going to throw out an idea: turn it into an indoor sports facility.

The argument could be made that the Recreation Center is an "indoor sports facility" to which I reply: if that were the case, why has the Ketchikan Little League been attempting for the last several years to get an indoor baseball facility set up? It seems perfect: the facility is owned by the Borough, has substantial locker rooms, and seems to be big enough for a bunch of batting cages or a couple of tennis courts.

It would take filling the pool in with concrete - which was done at Valley Park about ten years back, so there is a precedent, and then it would require surfacing of some sort. The Borough could run the facility. OR Office space could be rented to the Little League, who could run batting cages for rent. OR there could be tennis courts for use by the high school (or anyone) that are out of the weather. OR visiting teams could use the facility for batting practice. OR a driving range could be set up. Pretty much any sports activity that requires linear space could be in there: in the absence of a defined goal from Parks & Rec for the building, we can propose anything.

I'm just throwing out ideas, but I think the Mike Smithers Pool is a pretty interesting building that has the potential for future uses. And we ALWAYS need more places for kids to engage in physical activity, particularly during those ten months of the year when we have rotten weather. If you agree or have any other idea, get your voice out here!

Morgan Barry
Ketchikan, AK


About: "Born, raised, returned, and living in the City of Ketchikan."

Received January 14, 2010 - Published January 19, 2011



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