Committee formed to advocate for aquatic center’s future

      As the City of Whitewater and the Whitewater Unified School District continue negotiations for the future oversight and funding contributions to the 22-year-old Whitewater Fitness and Aquatic Center, a grassroots group has been formed to advocate for its importance within the community.

      Members of the Save the Pool Committee have been coalescing around the venue’s future and are planning an upcoming organizational meeting to share the group’s mission and goals.

      A number of local business owners, residents and organizers have attached their names to the committee’s leadership. Among them: Geoff Hale, Jeff Knight, Guy Ledwell and Cheri Zimdars.

      The leaders will hold their first organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at the Cravath Lakefront Community Center, 341 S. Fremont St.

      Hale, the owner of Whitewater-based Home Lumber Co., recently sent a statement to media outlets, explaining his advocacy for the aquatic center.

      “Whitewater’s aquatic center has been through some turbulent times,” Hale wrote. “Its defining moment being the devastation caused by COVID all across our community and our country. The swimming hole survived and is trending positively in the right direction.”

      In his statement, Hale said the aquatic center still has a strong foundation to work from, despite the pandemic-related impacts of recent years.

      “Our aquatic center is not the Titanic,” Hale wrote. “She is not a sinking ship. She is a survivor, just like Enterprise, and surely worth saving. Our swimming hole suffered a crushing blow with the advent of COVID. Our aquatic center is on the way back and trending upwards with a strong positive curve.”

      A more recent news release from the entire committee outlined the group’s goals and advocacy efforts, which are taking place two years after an operating agreement between the city and school district lapsed.

      “This group is hoping to expedite the completion of a new agreement, educate the public on this issue and help in any way they can to continue its operations,” the news release reads.

      The committee’s announcement of the upcoming meeting also laid out why the group is advocating for the aquatic center’s future.

      “Through the WFAC, members of the Whitewater community are able to learn important life skills and maintain healthy habits,” the news release states.

      “The WFAC offers water and fitness classes to a wide variety of ages, from toddlers all the way to seniors. This is a great example of how the WFAC is an important asset that provides many wellness resources to all members of the community.”

      Several recent city and school board meetings have taken place to hash over each entity’s future involvement with the center.

      Both parties, for instance, were involved in a negotiations ad hoc committee that met March 2.

      According to a document from the ad hoc committee, several lingering issues continued to be hashed over.

      From the school district’s standpoint, officials are stating, “A new agreement will need changes in plans for who manages the new equipment moving forward,” according to the document.

      From the city’s standpoint, the document states several objectives. One being, “Negotiate a more realistic annual contribution by the city and school district to operational expenses that will not cause an annual deficit and add a 2% annual increase.”

Comments are closed.