Nov 30, 2009 4:50 AM by Jeannette Hynes

YMCA preparing for more swimmers

All indoor and outdoor pools in Colorado Springs will close December 12.  After that, people will have to go elsewhere to find water for lessons, recreation, and exercise.

One place they may go to is the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.  President & CEO Merv Bennett has been talking with Colorado Springs Parks & Recreation Director Paul Butcher about how these closings will affect the community.  Bennett anticipates an influx of people using the pools and pool programs at the YMCA.

"This is going to result in people having to travel farther to get services.  We'll do everything we can to make sure those services are maintained as best we can," says Bennett.

Colorado Springs will save $927,305 by closing the city pools.  Butcher says he'll listen to any option to keep the pools going, whether it be a private business, community partner, or outright donation. If no one comes forward, the city pools will remained closed.

The YMCA would likely run additional pool programs within the facilities they have rather than try to operate the city buildings.

"Most of their services in those recreation centers are subsidized.  We do not have the ability to subsidize those programs and services," says Bennett.

Bennett adds the "Y" will do what it can to make sure kids have an affordable place to swim.

"teaching a child how to swim teaches them self-confidence, teaches them how to swim, how to be respectful to others.  It teaches them how to be responsible around others," says Bennett.

The city has discounted admission to the pools and recreational center before they close.  The admission is $2.75.  The two indoor pools and Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center will close December 12.  The fitness center at the Aquatics Fitness Center at Memorial Park will close December 19.



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