Perhaps a little history will help in the deliberation concerning a North County pool.
In the 1980s Mike Pascuzzi, then director of Parks and Recreation, and I developed a grant request which led to the funding of GT Bray, Blackstone and Whitfield parks. I might add that we received support from state Sen. Part Neal and his aide, Diane Barcus.
Following those projects, Mike and I discussed the construction of a pool to be built next to Lincoln Middle School even to the point of having a schematic drawing done. By this this time the funding source was not available through Community Education so the project did not move forward.
However, in 1998 (then school board member) Barbara Harvey and I were invited by the county to a meeting at Palmetto High to discuss placing the North County pool at Blackstone Park adjacent to Palmetto High School. Barbara and I were excited about this renewal of a pool-long needed.
This project again fell down the county’s project list. As to need for a pool I remember talking to Sterling Bryant, department of education, and expressing my surprise that Public Education Capital Funds (utility taxes) could be used for building a pool like the one at GT Bray. Buildings like gyms I understood; however, pools I thought was a stretch.
His reply was like this: I have heard of a lot of children dying because they couldn’t swim but I’ve never heard of one dying because they couldn’t play basketball.
I hope this history will help in the deliberations. Every day when I pass by or through GT Bray I thank God our utility taxes were used for that facility. You probably never realized that; however, I am sure we will feel the same way when we pass by the pool in Palmetto.
Walter E Miller