The bottom line is that it would be a shame to lose Community Pool. Wallingford officials have been trying to figure out what to do about the pool for a while now. A survey, that has yet to go out, is intended to gauge the community support for Community Pool, and it has long been the focus of discussion at the town parks and recreation commission. Options include general remodeling, rebuilding with a new design, or shutting it down for good.
The shutting down option is a result of attendance figures, which have been in decline. There were about 5,300 pool tags sold in 2010. Last year, the number was 1,960. That’s a significant decline.
But, as the recent wave of over-90-degree temperatures have indicated, there remains a need for Community Pool as a source of relief. It’s also a source of fun, of course, and it’s the fun factor that could end up saving the pool. Among fun factors that could be added is a splash pad.
“I do want to see a forward-thinking plan for this property,” said Town Councilor Chris Shortell recently. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity for things like a splash pad and maybe a smaller pool that would expand its use and bring more people to the area.”
In other words, there’s potentially an “if you build it they will come” aspect to the situation, to borrow from “The Field of Dreams” story. It seems logical that making it a more attractive place would bump up attendance figures.
So the question becomes, is it worth the investment it would take to make it a more attractive option?
That’s where the survey comes in. As we noted in this space at the onset of summer, the town needs to decide what to do about Community Pool and public opinion is important to that process. As summer winds to an end, the question remains the same.