Reasons to support the WP Aquatic Center By Angelo Salazar

The aquatic center is going to be a huge benefit for not only our school, but for the Woodland Park community as well.

I spoke with assistant principal and athletic director Michael DeWall about the aquatic center and its new proposed location near the high school. The building was originally supposed to be placed behind the Woodland Park Hardware store (in the Woodland Station area), but due to issues with the Woodland Park plumbing system, they had an idea to relocate it on RE-2 District property between the student parking lot and the bus loop by the Gateway Elementary School. With this new location, questions have arisen regarding the spot for the annual school bonfire, since it was set next to the student parking lot and Gateway bus loop. But DeWall didn’t see this as problem, saying, “We spoke about that when I was in a meeting, and we suggested that it’s not a big issue because we have several places we can place the bonfire. One idea was behind the school on the baseball field.”

The athletic director also told me that the people who wanted the aquatic center on district ground wanted to either buy the property from the school, or rent it from the school on a long term lease. Project proponents say the size of the property is perfect for the aquatic center, and that is why it will do well on school grounds. The project will just need several small adjustments to the original blueprints.

I also received information on how the aquatic center will look. There will be a competitive section with about six lanes, and a diving board. There will then be a separate section for the community, and fun slides. The layout also includes a safe kitty pool for younger children to swim in, and a locker room. The pool will be open year round to the community and tourists.

I spoke with football coach and P.E. (Physical Education) teacher Mr. Thomas. I asked Thomas what his thoughts were about the aquatic center being built on school grounds, and he told me, “I think it’s a good idea as long as the school can make room for our community to have parking, and not get in the way of student parking.” Thomas believes it will be very beneficial to our school and thinks it is a great idea.

I asked the P.E. teacher what he thought about a swim team for our school, and he said, “It’s a good idea, as long as we can get a coach to coach it and enough people.”

I also interviewed freshman Nate Bashor regarding his opinion on the aquatic center and the new proposed location. The student was aware of the project, but did not know the facility would be placed on actual school grounds. “I think it’s a good idea and it will be a fun place for Woodland Park residents to enjoy themselves,” said Bashor. As for the plans for a future swim team for the school, his response was: “I think it’ll be a great idea to have a new sport for our school and I think lots of people will join.”

In conclusion, the Woodland Park Aquatic Center is a great attraction that will occur soon. For our school, community, and tourists, the aquatic center is going to be a splash of fun!

Editor’s Note: Angelo Salazar is a student at the Woodland Park RE-2 School District. Look for future articles by Angelo and other articles by RE-2 high school students inside the pages of our newspaper and on our website, as part of a new partnership between The Mountain Jackpot (TMJ) newspaper and the journalism program at the Woodland Park RE-2 School District.
*A possible final decision regarding locating the new aquatic center at the school area is slated for mid-January, 2016.