There's renewed hope for opening Community Pool at Outwater Park this summer.
Niagara Aquatics owner and chief instructor Danielle Andalora presented to the Common Council on Wednesday a proposal to let her club utilize the L-shaped pool in exchange for providing swim classes to local youths and staffing the pool with lifeguards so that the facility can be opened to the general public.
Council members openly praised the plan, which would allow the pool to open this summer. The council-approved 2021 city budget does not include funding for pool operation.
To make Andalora's plan work, the city would draw on approximately $40,000 contingency funds to cover the costs of pool cleaning and maintenance, according to budget director Tim Russo.
In exchange for their use of the pool, Andalora said her group would supply all lifeguards as well as certified instructors through USA Swimming.
“Our swim team would practice from 9 to 11 in the morning, then from 12 to 5 we could do a community open swim,” she said.
Other possible programs include senior swimming, learn to swim blocks, adult water fitness, competitive training and water aerobics.
“Because of Covid, we would probably also need help in enforcing the mask rule and keeping the kids apart, making sure nothing happens. I'd like to have somebody there for security,” Andalora said.
First Ward Alderman Joe Oates, who has been working with Andalora on the proposal, said Community Pool was funded last year but was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andalora's not-for-profit Niagara Aquatics Club was formed in May of 2019 and has been utilizing the pools at Lockport High School and Lockport Town & Country Club, as well as training space at Cornerstone CFCU Arena. The swim club has about 70 members, including eight certified lifeguards.
“Danielle brings a lot to the table,” 5th Ward Alderman Rick Abbott said. “She's had a lot of experience in running programs. The fact that we could offer services to all age groups as well as instructional programs for youth, it would be beneficial. I think it's got ‘win-win’ written all over it. I don't see any down side. We should work with her and do something.”
Added 4th Ward Alderman Debra Allport, “I'm totally on board. One of my sons went through USA Swimming when Jeff Zwicker was around. Swimming is a wonderful thing for kids.”
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