Mat-Su pool makeovers to make swim time scarcer
Pools are not as plentiful in Alaska as say, Florida -- and snagging an open lane next year in the Mat-Su may be an even greater challenge than it is now.
Wasilla High School's pool is headed for a makeover. It's good news in the long term, but will likely send more activity in the short term to Palmer's facility -- a situation that will reverse in 2019 when Palmer's pool receives work.
"Both of the buildings are essentially worn out," said the Mat-Su Borough's recreational and library manager, Hugh Leslie. "We've got some compliance issues over the course of 30-plus years; we've got some 88 compliance issues."
A $13 million fix will take care of those issues, but it will mean some reshuffling for local teams.
"We know we can't open the pools any earlier. We're already open at 5:30," said Leslie. "We can stay open a little later mid-week, but we are going to deepen the hours we are open on weekends to accommodate as many people as possible."
High-school teams at Wasilla, Colony, and Palmer could also feel the brunt.
"It becomes a transportation issue for parents getting kids to practice after school." said Colony head coach Dawn Bettrager.
But to stay competitive, it will represent another challenge.