How badly does Teton Valley want a pool?
Teton Valley residents have long voiced their desire for a pool.
Three years ago the county and cities used community input to create a recreation master plan and 90 percent of respondents wanted a pool.
“It topped the list,” said Driggs Community Development Director Doug Self.
Last year the City of Driggs decided to make a push forward and commit to building a pool in the next five years. The new non-profit Teton Valley Aquatics (TVA) is investigating the community’s interest in, and willingness to fund, an aquatic center in the valley.
In the next couple of weeks they will send out a survey to all residents in an effort to gauge interest. People can fill out the survey card or go to tetonvalleyaquatics.com, where there is also an online survey.
After gathering input and assessing feasibility, the TVA will begin fundraising next summer.
It will require a massive fundraising effort. TVA will seek only private contributions, not tax money. If they are able to raise nine million dollars, Driggs will have an “indoor super facility”; if they only bring in one million, Driggs could have a simpler outdoor pool.
“There are options in between,” said Self. “But we have our sights set high.”
Communities that are the same size as Teton Valley, such as Cody, Wyoming, have raised the money to build aquatic centers.
After raising the initial building funds, the TVA also hopes to raise enough for continued maintenance and to ensure that everyone can afford to use the facilities.
The pool would be located between Driggs Middle and High School, if the school board gives its approval. TVA also hopes to build a recreation center for after-school and year-round programs.
“We know what people want and we want to deliver that,” said Self.
“I’ve always thought a pool was the thing we’ve needed the most, the only thing we need here,” said business-owner Sue Cicero, echoing the belief of many Teton Valley residents.
The aquatic facilities will offer all the valuable opportunities that are not currently available in the valley: rehabilitative therapy, competition, aquatic exercise, and swim lessons.
In order for this initiative to work, Teton Valley Aquatics requests that people to fill out the survey card in their mailbox rather than tossing it in the recycling bin.