After reading the June 30 article in the Deseret News regarding the closing of the Salt Lake Community College South City swimming pool, I felt it important to clarify the position of the South High Alumni Association. There is obviously some misunderstanding as to whether the alumni association was contacted.
Yes, President Cynthia Bioteau and Vice President Mason Bishop very graciously did contact the executive board of the South High Alumni Association well in advance and asked for our input and that of our board of trustees as to what impact the closing of the pool would have on South alumni and the local community.
After polling our board of trustees, we found that a majority of them thought it would have a material impact on the community and would disappoint the many students who utilized the pool during and after their school years.
In concert with the president's request, we elected to do an in-depth study over a two-week period as to what it would cost to repair the pool and actually what it would cost if a pool of this quality and size were to be built new in this day and age. Our research indicated the repair would be somewhat less that what the college had estimated, and for a pool of this nature to be replaced it would cost $5 million to $6 million. Estimates for removing the pool could cost close to $1 million more.
We wrote a two-page letter advising President Bioteau of our findings and recommended that if SLCC could not continue to underwrite its operation, that a serious study be done to determine if the city, county or Salt Lake City School District would be interested in helping save the pool. A partnership of this nature could market its use more successfully and share in the costs of its operation.The announcement of the closing of the pool was obviously not what we had hoped for. We honor and respect the fact that it is President Bioteau and the SLCC administration that would make the final decision. It is still our hope that further study might change their mind and the pool could be saved.
Richard M. Taggart is president of the South High Alumni Association.