Should we take the plunge/dive?

Posted by Andy Durham on December 8, 2009 at 3:04 pm under Amateur | 7 Comments to Read

The Greensboro City Council is all over this projected aquatics center planned for the Greensboro Coliseum area and it appears that this is not a new project, but that it has become a delayed project and the longer you wait on projects such as this one, the higher the overall costs become.

Remember the IceHouse that was planned for the old Tobacco USA lot that sits across the street from the Coliseum? That got moved out toward the Fleming Road area and then it got pushed back toward the Coliseum and then it never got built. Finally some sort of IceHouse got built out near Terry Labonte’s Chevrolet on the west side, off of West Wendover Avenue and Stanley Road.

Will the Aquatics Center go the way of the Greensboro IceHouse and never get built? The IceHouse out off of West Wendover is a private facility and we don’t have a public skating facility and the US Figure Skaking Championships are coming here soon….

Just think, maybe if we got the Aquatics Center we could host some national swim meets, but if this project doesn’t get approved and get started soon, will it end up like that of the Winston-Salem Dash…..Just look at all the cost overruns that they have encountered during their building delays, even though that involves public and private money and now more public, than what they initially had planned for.

If the Aquatics Center ends up getting bulit, are we taking an economic plunge that may end up as a positive for the city of Greensboro and the surrounding communities, or will we end up taking a dive and end up seeing taxpayers dollars floating down the drain?

This could end up helping many kids, so in reality you have to see it as a positive and take a deep breath and jump into the deep end and see if you can tread the waters when the going gets tough.

This would probably serve us much better in the long run, than an ampitheater that could only be used in the warmer months and that would be good for only about seven months out of the year, whereas the Aquatics Center would be open year-round….

The Coliseum has already started digging the hole for the ampitheater, so why not put that on hold and make that hole deeper and wider and make the pool/aquatics center a priority……

From what I’ve been reading, it sounds like new City Councilman Danny Thompson is saying, that we have to build them residents something, so let’s make this a more circular version of Buffalo Creek and that Mayor Bill Knight wants something that can save money and only be used during the day and not at night.

Just remember, the longer we wait the greater the chance that there will never be an Aquatics Center and if and when, they finally decide to move forward, the longer you wait, the deeper the hole will get and this hole will not hold water.

The adults do not see the true values of the Aquatics Center, but the kids do and that’s who should be considered here as the local kids and the ones that will come here from out of town and spend money, are our FUTURE……

Here’s what they were saying at the City Council meeting:

“We have to build them (city residents) a pool. Let’s do it in the most practical, cost-effective and revenue-generating way possible,” Councilman Danny Thompson said.

The four newly elected council members are trying to reconcile a $6.8 million funding gap between the $12 million aquatic center that voters approved in 2008 and the $18.8 million center that the previous City Council agreed last week to build.

At the briefing, the new council members and returning member Mary Rakestraw got a recap of the project.

Members wanted to know why city staff thought they could save money by building the pool in the recession.

At the time the city had been seeing other construction bids come in up to 15 percent under budget, Deputy City Manager Bob Morgan said. But because the pool project was so specialized, the project didn’t incur any savings.

“There was a lot of discussion about how much we think we could save if we go out in the marketplace now,” Morgan told council members. “There was a lot of hope we would get a good bid.”

Still, the city engineering staff felt like the $18.8 million center they helped design was a good price, considering a similar center was built for more than $20 million in Cary.

The architects and city staff have already redesigned some parts of the building to reduce the original low bid. They have kept the design features that major swimming organizations require of their facilities.

“We could get it down more, but then we wouldn’t have anything to market,” Morgan said. “So it wouldn’t be as good of an investment.”

Read full article from News and Record Click Here.


  • Bob said,

    I consider myself a swimming supporter, but I too have been unhappy with much of what’s gone on with the pool lately.

    That being said, however, Greensboro is a unique position to do something positive and put the Gate City on the map as a swim destination. Also, the economic benefit should be worth the investment.

    Take the dip, GSO!

  • mc said,

    given the fiasco that has ensued thus far NO! I understand the need but in all honesty the process that got it on the bond bill was suspect; the substantial increase in the cost; the uncertainty with respect to how maintenance will be paid for…too many questions. too many unknowns. PULL THE PLUG

  • tee tee said,

    there are multiple reason why Raleigh and Charlotte have left Greensboro in their dusty and this is just another of those reasons. this city continues to show no vision for the future and a lack of financial guts and belief that its citizens can help make projects work. this town tries to call itself “tournament town” which is a joke. NC is centrally located for the entire east coast and it is an easy drive within a 1-2 state radius. Every center built here means one less such center that will be built in other nearby cities. We should continue to push for centers such as the swim center, expand our baseball and soccer fields and even consider other areas supporting basketball complexes such as the milk house at disney or dirt bike/go cart tracks. The general public does not fully understand how many teams and organizations there are that go travel for these AAU and club sports. Just go out to the sportsplex on a basketball or volleyball weekend in Greensboro, or a soccer week in North Raleigh. Now imagine the ability to draw multiple regional or national tournament to the city. The city would benefit from the beginning to the end and we could develop a reputation unmatched in the eastern US.

  • Andy said,

    I like the forward thinking that Bob and Tee Tee are bringing to the table.

    This may be a crazy comparison, but stop and think about this for minute.

    Emerald Pointe water park is a private business, but just stop for second and think about the success this water park has had.

    Sure, in the beginning it struggled some, but just look how busy this attraction is and has been in recent years, even in these tough economic times.

    This water park draws visitors from all the over the state and even from up in Virginia and from down in South Carolina. The promotions people at Emerald Pointe market this attraction all throughout the Southeast and it draws paying customers who come in here to Greensboro from all over the place.

    It is a good product and what were we saying, back when they first got started, “a Water Park in Greensboro”?

    This has been a good idea and somebody is making money off of this idea and the businesses surrounding the Water Park have made money too……

    The Aquatics Center in Greensboro could work in a similar way.

    It could host the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships, the NCHSAA is looking for a larger facility to host the High School state swim meets, last year the NCHSAA had to turn people away at the State Meet because there was not enough seating and parking. The fire marshall ended up locking them down becasue they didn’t have enough room at N.C State.

    All it would take is forward thinking people working together to get this thing off the ground and we should be an attraction, because we would be bigger than Raleigh/Cary and Charlotte.

    We need to get more projects like this off the ground and give out-of-towners a reason to want to come here and spend their money.

    If the ACC and the NCHSAA will commit to us will you commit to them and get behind it and help make it work. The outdoor summer swim meet at Lindley Park Pool is huge and we would a chance at events like this all through the year.

    Will this be another missed opportunity for Greensboro or will our leaders step up and make this a “Full-Gainer”? Or are we looking at another “Belly Flop” for the Gate City.

  • Mark Pitts said,

    I’m in. Yes count me in for the proposed swim center.

  • Guilford County Coach said,

    Greensboro should build the competitive swim center and attract out of town competitors and their fans to boost the local economy. I have another idea that would also help in that way and boost the economy and athletics. Build a state of the art indoor track and field facility. Get the backing from A&T, UNCG and Guilford College. These 3 schools have track programs. Also get the school system involved. Right now the high school kids are running OUTDOORS but doing the indoor track events to qualify for the state track meet in Chapel Hill in February.The 3 local colleges and universities are going to UNC, Va Tech, Clemson, Liberty, VMI or East Tennesse State instead of staying home to compete and actually making money from indoor track instead of spending it. If we had an indoor facility look at all the revenue it could generate. A collegiate or high school meet every weekend from early December to the end of February.Let A&T, Guilford, UNCG and the school system take turns hosting a meet for 9 weekends. Maybe 3 high school meets and 6 college meets during that time span.Greensboro could be one helluva sports town if we would get off our asses and work together for it.

  • Guilford Co. Coach said,

    An aside: City councilman Robbie Perkins was a great track athlete at Duke. I hope he reads this post.