Potsdam Central survey indicates interest in indoor pool for possible community use
BY MATT LINDSEY
North Country This Week
POTSDAM – Potsdam Central School board members discussed adding a pool during the board of education meeting Nov. 12.
This past spring, the Potsdam Town Council passed a resolution supporting and encouraging the Potsdam School District to include an indoor pool in their renovation plans.The resolution was put forward in light of the closing of the Merritt Hall pool at SUNY Potsdam that is closing to the public.
A pool was also a common request from district parents who participated in a capital project survey.
In the past, PCS has offered swimming lessons to fourth grade students by taking them to SUNY Potsdam’s pool as part of their physical education program. PCS also offers boys and girls swim programs to students.
Board members discussed the addition of the pool but were concerned about the tax burden it would place on local residents.
It is not expected that a pool can be included in the school’s next proposed capital project, which is estimated at $23.5 million, because there are other areas of need.
“We want to be able to address all the nitty-gritty things that just absolutely have to get done to keep the buildings running into the future,” said Architect Matt Schools. “And you also want to bring in a few things in there that’s going to excite people a little bit … that are going to add to the community factor.”
He gave a capital project presentation Nov. 10 to the school board.
“You get as much aide as you can … but the sad truth is you’re going to see a tax impact for some things,” he said.
PCS Superintendent Joann Chambers hinted at exploring working with the village to fund it.
“They tossed it to us, but maybe we toss it back,” she said. “If we are selling it as a community idea why does it have to be just the school district taxpayers paying for it.”
She does not feel now is the time to ask taxpayers to fund it.
Suggestions at the meeting included possibly making the pool a part of a shared sports complex that could lower the cost through working with a non-profit entity.