Vandalia residents asked what changes they want at Cassel Hills pool

Cassel Hills pool in Vandalia will open this summer with possible new upgrades.

Credit: Courtesy

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Cassel Hills pool in Vandalia will open this summer with possible new upgrades.

Credit: Courtesy

Vandalia is surveying residents with the help of Wright State graduate students about the city’s Cassel Hills swimming pool.

Students in the Wright State Public Administration graduate program will collect data from residents and those that use the pool through April 3 to establish what, if any, upgrades should be made to improve their experience at the community pool.

“We want to find out from the community what would they like to see, what do they see the future of Cassel Hills pool being? Then, share with city council and hopefully make some decisions based on community input as to what the future is going to be,” said Vandalia’s parks and recreation director Steve Clark.

Student Nick Latessa and his two group members will present the findings to council during its May 3 council meeting,

Latessa grew up in the Englewood area and attended the pool with friends when he was younger and is excited to work on something that will benefit the community. “It’s more than just the specific things that are happening to the pool, the cooler part for me is that I’m helping to involve the community in the decision making and allowing their voices to be heard on specific aspects,” he said.

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The survey asks 10 questions about the amenities at the pool and if residents would like to see live music, a water slide, a lazy river, a dump bucket, a surf simulator and other upgrades. Latessa said the upgrade ideas came from trends data of the most popular amenities at pools and aquatic centers. The questionnaire also asks about what other pools users attend and has garnered over 350 responses in the first week.

“The industry is changing, people’s demands or what they want out of pools is changing. The city approached us because they are interested in understanding opinions about the facility from both users and nonusers,” said Mary Wenning, associate professor in the Wright State school of public and international affairs.

The pool, built in 1976, is a heated z-shaped outdoor pool with two diving boards and a seashell shaped kiddie pool. There is also the option of keeping the pool the way it is.

“The average lifespan for the pool according to national industry standards is about 20 years and so the Cassel Hills pool is aging and is going to require renovation to move forward,” said Wenning.

Last year the pool was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.This year the pool will open Memorial Day weekend.

“We’re going to open one way or the other. It’s just a matter of do we have to operate at a reduced capacity, what do we have to do with social distancing,” Clark said. “Now that there’s more information out there on how other communities ran their pool, we feel pretty confident about being able to open our pool even if the restrictions are still in place.”

The 10-question survey can be accessed on the city’s Facebook Page.

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