SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Re: Mike Smithers Pool
By Dave Kiffer


January 24, 2011
Monday PM

It is indeed an excellent time to discuss the future of the Mike Smithers Pool building.

Earlier this month, the Ketchikan Borough Assembly gave borough staff the go ahead to come up with options. Although there have been some suggestions about the building, there is no specific direction the boro is heading in, so we welcome input from the community.

There are significant challenges to the reuse of the building, however. It's unfortunately not as simple or easy as filling in the old pool and using the building for another sports activity. Several years ago, it was estimated that the roof on the building will need to be replaced in the next couple of years and that cost was estimated at upwards of $1 million. There may also be other structural issues that need attention. After all, the pool building was built more nearly 40 years ago.

As part of the new pool project, the borough also estimated the cost to demolish the old pool building and that was estimated at nearly $1 million, so that is not an option the boro would prefer to undertake either - although, oddly enough, that demolition cost would be at least partly refunded by the state.

At this point, the Boro is certainly open to any suggestion about the old building. With the limited number of indoor facilities in Ketchikan, it would be a shame to not at least consider other options for the old pool building before demolishing it. What do you think? And are there any other sports organizations out there that might be willing to take ownership of the old building? We'd love to hear from you.

Dave Kiffer
Mayor, Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Ketchikan, AK


Received January 20, 2010 - Published January 24, 2011


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letterMike Smithers Pool By Morgan Barry

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