SPARTANBURG, South Carolina, October 1. THE Spartanburg City Council voted Monday evening to demolish the Spartanburg Swim Center in an effort to cut costs and make way for a new pool in another part of the city.
The pool was officially closed at noon Monday, but the Spartanburg High School swim team is allowed to continue using it this week in preparation for the state high school championships, which starts Friday. Support for the 30-year-old pool was “sparse,” according to an article in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, as just six people stood outside the pool prior to its public closure on Monday. At last night’s city council meeting, three supporters of the pool spoke the council members about the need to keep the pool, particularly for its learn-to-swim program.
The city’s major year-round swim team, Y-Spartaquatics, will not be affected by the closure. The team practices at the Thomas E. Hannah Family YMCA, about a mile from the Spartanburg Swim Center, and the Middle Tyger YMCA, about 11 miles east of downtown Spartanburg.
According to the Herald-Journal, the council was most persuaded by the need to avoid the $2 million in renovations needed at the Swim Center and the $530,000 in annual operating costs. Revenue to keep the pool running is not coming in, said Councilwoman Linda Dogan.
“Nobody likes it,” Dogan said. “It hurts, but it has to be done.”
Besides the YMCA pools in the area, Spartanburg is now without a 25-yard pool for public or team use. The C.C. Woodson Community Center has an outdoor pool, but it is not competition-length, and is only open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It’s not clear where the Spartanburg High School team will train next season, but the planned Dr. T.K. Gregg Community Center might house a competition-length pool for the high school team.
The Spartanburg High School team is looking to improve on their placings from last year’s state championships. The boys and girls each finished seventh in the state in 2012. In 2010, the team was second in both genders.
Full text of Herald-Journal article