If you have visited a park recently, surely you have seen the signs and banners promoting public input for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. This is the time and place to make your opinion known, and I’m writing because Spokane is in dire need of a publicly accessible indoor aquatic facility. Natatoriums provide access for all persons to provide exercise, improve community health outcomes, and provide a venue for aquatic sports.
It’s a shame that Spokane public schools do not have pools. Having a shared-use facility with the school district could provide an avenue for schools to provide swim lessons during school, or opportunities for athletics. Swim & Dive is one of the top ten sports according to the National Federation of High Schools (2019). Building a natatorium with adequate sporting facilities may also provide an economic return with club teams as well, introducing new sports for Spokane youth to participate in.
More importantly, an indoor public-use facility can provide improved health outcomes for the community as a whole. Year-round lessons would reduce instances of drowning in the region. Aquatic fitness courses would be publicly accessible and improve the health outcomes of participants, including disabled participants. Additionally, having another avenue to combat youth obesity improves the overall health of the community.
Spokane, please take the time to complete the survey and indicate the need for an all-use indoor aquatic facility. It’s time we build one.