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April 16, 2009



Here's a simpler theme, and much more needed in Durham, for the pool. Outdoors.

This is NC, you can be outside swimming (*if we had outdoor pools*) a solid 5-6 months of the year.

Natural light filtered through a building is a poor and much less enjoyable substitute for being outside (and a more expensive one, I bet you could build two outdoor pools for the cost of one aquatic center, and a heckuva lot more people would use the pool if outdoors.)


From being near the indoor pool at the YMCA I'd have to agree. They reak of pool chemicals, are steamy in a weird and creepy way, and you'd have to air condition that space in the summer or perhaps they intend to sell child, parent, and senior roasts to fund the building.


Seems a little weird to only have 2 lap lanes. You'd never be able to use a pool like this for a youth swim team, which seems like a good use of a local pool. If they let adult groups rent the pool for early mornings and late nights, like many pools do, they could also have another revenue stream.

moe Rivera

If you design it... they will build!
Stop giving Skanska these no bid contracts.. CRONYISM at it's best!
Can we please build using local contractors?
1 million dollars to design a pool? I can give my nephews some crayons and an apple juice, and I'm sure they can draw one up.
If the funds aren't there for the building, do we get a refund?

Todd Patton

Well if you spend a million dollars on design, it has to come with a lot of bells and whistles. When I think of a city aquatics center, I think of an upgraded Edison Johnson, not the Great Wolf Lodge. This is so over the top, it is absurd.

Durham needs 4 more aquatics centers to serve the growing suburban areas of the city, but will never be able to afford them at this rate. Instead of buying a Bently, Parks & Rec needs a fleet of Chevys (or Camrys, if you prefer) to serve the whole City.

With both Edison Johnson and the Trinity Ave centers within a mile or less of Walltown, an outdoor pool should be more than sufficient in Walltown. The rest of the city needs to be served as well.

Tar Heelz

Can you say "boondoggle"?

Michael Phelps' Nemesis

Boondoggle is putting it mildly. Most boondoggles at least result in something tangible. The new convention center in Raleigh might qualify, for instance. It sounds like the Walltown Wallyworld pool is more than a boondoggle--there's a bunch of money headed down the swimming pool drain just for the design work on an over-the-top pool that should not and likely never will be built. Does anyone outside of a few in Walltown (and the design firms) think this is a good idea? If so, I'd love to be enlightened.


I'm unfamiliar with this area but know it is near me and I could get much use out of the tots area. Just curious - why is this a bad idea? Did they talk about entry costs?


Yolanda, part of the issue is that there are already 2 other public indoor door pools supported by parks & rec within 1 mile of the proposed location. Yet, many growing (grown) neighborhoods outside the urban core do not have any public rec centers, not to mention state of the art swim facilities. Our previous city had a public pool very similar to design 3. It was fab. But the the population and medium home value was about 3 - 4xs that of the City of Durham. This sort of public funded pool just doesn't fit the economy of scale here in Durham.


Our child likes swimming year round. For summer outdoors we go to the river, but in December that's a bit chilly... We're not near the Y's pool then, we're IN it. The weird steaminess looks just fine from the water.

I don't think there are two pools within a mile. Edison Johnson, yes, but the city passed on buying the Diet Center down on Trinity Ave. No money, doncha know?

That was something like $3 mil, so if they miraculously find money for this $17 mil center the screaming should be intense. This is about placating some very vocal community advocates (who are just taking care of their neighborhood). Council should be ashamed they lacked the political will to just say no.


Thanks Tina. That clarifies things...


The City needs more lap/exercise lanes - not a kid's water park and 17 million dollar entertainment center.

Seems like a waste of whole lot of tax payer money for essentially a limited fun park design.



1. Is the $1 million spent on this design IN ADDITION to hundreds of thousands previously given to architect George Williams (councilman Howard Clements' brother-in-law) for "advanced planning"?

2. Is the design $$ still funneling through George Williams, so that he gets a healthy slice of the pie for very little (no?) design work?

3. When will the local media (& voters!!!) finally pay better attention to this outrageous abuse of power?!!!!!

Affordable Above Ground Pool Kits

Sounds amazing but do you really think 1 mil will do? The plans sound really ambitious and big, and I'd think it will cost more.

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