Spellerberg Neighborhood Deserves Something Unique. Indoor Pool May Provide the Water for Growth.
I hope the citizens of Sioux Falls will reject another outdoor pool and embrace building an indoor pool in the core of our city on April 8th. Here is my reasoning.
City government has put much emphasis on the downtown area, supporting new housing, retail, and entertainment. Private and public investments are creating new opportunities.
In the surrounding neighborhoods there are challenges. Schools are closing. The Pettigrew and Whittier areas are dealing with complex societal issues of poverty, crime, homelessness. Those problems can and have caused some flight and disinvestment. Not a good sign.
Close to the Pettigrew area is the Spellerberg neighborhood. It has remained the same for many years, neither improving nor declining. Some of the housing is looking a little tired. The expansion of the Sanford Hospital footprint has caused some changes. However, those changes have not given the neighborhood a shot in the arm. Spellerberg is a nice neighborhood, but it lacks pizazz, a draw, a reason to go or live there, and a reason to invest or reinvest.
A year-round publicly owned recreational facility within walking distance will make the Spellerberg area unique in a very good way. Nobody in town will be able to brag about being able to swim year round in their neighborhood.
I believe the building of an indoor aquatics center will be a spark causing families to consider the area as a place to live. I also believe entrepreneurial people will see opportunities to create new services and jobs close by.
One of the side issues in the public discussion is the fear of parking conflicts for our Veterans at the VA adjacent to this proposal. The city has the ability to create more parking both on the streets, by widening some if necessary, and adding more parking to the park site itself.If more parking is needed, I think it would be a great testament to the popularity of the neighborhood.
I am glad the city wants to put something new and different in the core of our city. It is this kind of investment that can lift a neighborhood up and make it a "happening place" to live.
I am voting against the continuation of the “we have always done it this way" thinking.
I am voting "No."