Helper's decision shows regard for residents health
The decision last Thursday night by the Helper City Council to close the Helper swimming pool was a tough one for all involved. It meant the loss of jobs at the pool and the demise of a summer tradition for many children in the area. But after spending some time at the facility and shooting a number of photos of the facility, I am convinced the council did the right thing.
Often in the area of political, financial and logistical decisions, I refrain from making opinions about things I don't understand. But I do understand this. For over 20 years of my life I spent my time working in the facilities business. For 10 of those years I either directly or indirectly supervised as many as 12 olympic size pools, as well as numerous diving pools and other kinds of water recreational facilities.
In my experience, few swimming pools last beyond 40 years without either being completely rebuilt in place or torn down and replaced by a newer facility. The daily wear and tear, the moisture in the buildings, the chemicals used to maintain pools at proper pH and disinfection levels and generally the poor maintenance many pools and their surrounding facilities receive make their end an almost sure thing in a few short decades.
After examining the Helper pool and comparing it with literally hundreds of pools I have looked at over the years as a consultant, it, unfortunately needed to be closed. It could be rebuilt, but the cost of doing so would be so high, it probably wouldn't be worth it. Instead Helper should look at a way to build a new facility, maybe this time a water facility with a lot of the new kinds of water attractions such as free flowing water ways and play areas. That would make it different from the Desert Wave Pool enough that they could attract people from all over.
However, that is only a decision the people of Helper can make. For now they need to know that their council made the right decision for the health and welfare of the community.