Teton Valley Aquatics, which has been quietly chipping away at the task of establishing an aquatic center in the valley for over a year, has put out a survey and will host a public workshop as part of its feasibility study.
Teton Valley Aquatics and the City of Driggs each contributed $15,000 to fund a feasibility study by VCBO Architects. The consulting firm, in tandem with a project team made up of TVA board members, city staff and city parks committee members, has performed a needs analysis.
VCBO is now seeking community information. The survey, available at tetonvalleyaquatics.org, will determine the demographics of the valley, who will use the facility, what amenities they want, and how they want construction and operation of the facility to be paid for.
TVA presented at a school board meeting in May about the possibility of putting an aquatic center on school land. The feasibility study meeting, which is open to everyone, is on July 11 and will be at the Driggs Senior Center at 6 p.m.
At the meeting, VCBO and TVA will present the results of the survey and seek public input and feedback as part of the feasibility study process.
“We would love to hear from folks about what their pain points are, what are the problems they see in Teton Valley,” said TVA executive director Katie Hoskinson last month. “What do they envision as a facility that fits the community, what are their hopes and dreams for programming? We want people to come with their aspirations and their greatest fears, whether that’s funding structure or taxes. We’re ready to engage and listen.”
There is still the possibility of finding a geothermal heat source to tap into, which would cut the cost of pool operations and provide an economic boon to the community. Hoskinson said that in 1978, an oil and gas company drilled an exploratory well two miles north of Driggs. They didn’t hit oil or gas but they did hit hot water.
“That’s a really exciting data point for TVA,” she said. “It really could change the narrative of what revenue and expenses look like for a facility.”
After analyzing input from the community, VCBO will provide construction costs and timelines for each of the three design concepts, as well as an operating budget for TVA that encompasses at least 20 years.
“We really believe in our mission of helping people in Teton Valley to live their fullest, healthiest, safest lives and we’re forwarding that mission with a suite of programming for recreational and wellness opportunities,” Hoskinson said.