Service High Swimming Pool No Longer Open to Public
Budget cuts shut down community use of pool
ANCHORAGE - Municipal budget cuts are affecting how and when people can swim. The Service High Pool is no longer open for community swims. City Parks and Rec director John Rodda said lap swims and open swims at Service were discontinued as of January 1.
There is a charge to swim at city pools that goes to help cover the costs of keeping the pool open early or late or on weekends for the community. But Rodda said the Service pool had the fewest number of users in the district and that use was dropping steadily. He said it brought in the fewest revenues as well. Long-time swimmer Mike Jens is disappointed.
“We've got a wonderful facility here that's frankly being underutilized, “said Jens. “I’ve been in here times when I have been the only swimmer here, and I have been in here times when there four or five different events going on both above the water and with scuba divers below.”
Jens is trying to rally support for the pool from both the public and the Anchorage Assembly, hoping that the decision to close it to community swims will be reversed.
“I wrote a letter to the editor to try and stimulate some people to get interested in the pool and let [the Department of] Parks and Rec know that there are users out there who want to use the pool and hope we can stimulate more interest.”
The Anchorage School District has a separate arrangement to use the city pools and has full access to the Service pool. In addition, Service is the exception when it comes to public swim access; every other pool in the district offers community swim times.