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What Should Be Done with the Aquatic Center?

Usage rates and conditions of the indoor and outdoor pools at the West Bloomfield Parks & Recreation facility are being studied. Could the space be better used?

Perhaps West Bloomfield residents could be better-served by something else in the space occupied by its public pools.

As the Parks & Recreation Commission works to update its five-year master plan, the possibility of restructuring the  has come up in response to the issue of how to pay to improve conditions of the pools, according to Director Dan Navarre.

Most recently at a special public meeting last week, the commission and consultants have brainstormed other uses including tennis or basketball courts in place of the outdoor pool, Navarre said. No specific action item regarding restructuring the 5.2-acre facility appears imminent, but could well take place as the master plan is scheduled to be adopted in May.

The outdoor pool is open in June, July and August, and the indoor pool is open year-round. The Family Aquatic Center also hosts classes and offers banquet rooms for rent.

"It's similar to a park in that we work to develop it around the community's interest," Navarre said. "Conditions are a concern of staff and the outdoor pool typically runs at a deficit, so there's been brainstorming at our public meetings to ask what should be done with the facility.

"The outdoor pool is due for major work which costs major money, so we need to figure out if that's in the best public interest."

Navarre said the indoor and outdoor pools at the aquatic center had not been built for commercial standards, but were purchased for the public's use in 1997 when the facility was known as the Potomac Club. 

There are no more public forums scheduled, but Parks & Recreation staff still want to know what residents have to say prior to the plan's scheduled adoption in May. They urge residents to call the  at (248) 451-1900 or send an email through the website with questions, comments and concerns.

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