Centre Region Council of Governments
Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive #1, State College, PA 16801
(814) 231-3071 Fax 814.235.7832 E-Mail: email@example.com
Serving the Borough of State College and the Townships of College, Ferguson, Harris & Patton
SUMMARY OF PUBLIC MEETING #1
with Pool Patrons
FOR THE WM. L. WELCH COMMUNITY SWIMMING POOL
MASTER SITE PLAN - “KICK OFF MEETING”
7:00 PM, Tuesday, 24 Jul 07
held in the COG Forum Room
Mr. Todd Roth, Aquatics Supervisor, welcomed everyone to the Public Meeting for Welch
Swimming Pool Renewal. He presented a slide show about the pools and the operations. The
Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority owns and operates the two outdoor pools; the five
municipalities (State College Borough, and the Townships of College, Ferguson, Harris, and
Patton) provide part of the funding. He then reviewed the history of the pool, the operation
figures from 2006, and the goals of this project. He indicated that an Aquatic Advisory
Committee had been formed (for both pool renewals) that incorporates CRRA members, a
School District representative, Welch Pool swim team parents, Park Forest swim team parents,
and student swimmers. He stated that the Master Site Plan process would be paid by a $33,000
grant from the state and $33,000 from the five municipalities. The consultants were hired: Al
Popovich, HP Architects (Boalsburg), the lead on the project; Scot Hunsaker, Counsilman-Hunsaker Associates (St. Louis, MO) the aquatic consultants. HP Architects has also retained
the ELA Group, Inc. (State College) for landscape architecture and Reese Engineering (State
College) will provide engineering services.
Mr. Roth then introduced Scot Hunsaker who presented a slide show about their
company, showed photos of other municipal pools that they had designed and outlined how
aquatics has changed since the Welch Pool was originally built. There are two differences
between what the competitive swimmer needs and what the wellness group would like: warmth
of water and depth of water. He asked those present to think about how the Welch pool was
being used today and how it could be used in the future. He asked people to dream about what
they would like to see when they would come to the Welch Pool. Scot displayed a picture of
the current pool, emphasizing the boundary of the leased space.
Following his presentation, the meeting was opened for discussion and ideas:
1) (?) Since the Welch pool is to compliment the Park Forest Pool what will be included in
the Park Forest Pool?. Mr. Hunsaker reviewed that plan and indicated it was a stretched
25-yard pool; a replacement pool of the same type with additional amenities. He
showed a concept drawing of the Park Forest Pool explaining the different areas. He
emphasized the fact that it was just a concept drawing and the actual may not look
exactly like the concept.
2) Kim Faulds - Is glad that it will be in the same location but asked if there weren’t
challenges with the topography of the site and then with the High School being
undecided as to what they are going to go with the surrounding land can we count on
the parking. Was a Hydraulic study done and can we expand as far as we want? Mr.
Roth explained that one of the provisions of the 25 year lease with the school district
provides parking on the same side of Westerly Parkway as the pool. The school district
wants to make it work. Mr. Hunsaker indicated that Hydrology was part of the work
they will be doing.
3) Margaret Higgins - Relayed that she saw a renewed pool that was not done well. The
spray features splashed all over her daughter who didn’t want to be splashed. There
was nowhere for her daughter to enjoy herself. She would like to see some standing
water where children could play that didn’t like the sprinkler, splash features.
4) Paul Gable - Spent his summers at Welch Pool. All he would like to see is a 3 meter
diving board. He friends would have contests to see who could make the biggest splash.
He asked what was going to happen with the land on the other side of the bike path,
you don’t want to be right up against the houses. Mr. Hunsaker replied that children’s
experiences are different today and a 3 meter diving board may not hold the same
interest today. The bike path may have to be moved but that will be decided when the
master site plan is done. Mr. Hunsaker will be providing site specifics and the specific
expenses in September when they present the options.
5) Jim Meyer - Provided a letter that will be attached to these minutes. He briefly went
over the information in the letter. He is in favor of a large pool where the public can lap
swim, have competitions, and have recreational amenities including pavilions. He
thinks that zero depth entry is very important.
6) Rebecca Hirsch - Does not want water park mayhem! She doesn’t want a water park
that would cause the pool to loose its community atmosphere. She is in favor of more
pool, less water park and more shade. She doesn’t think we should build based on what
this generation wants. After seeing the pictures that were shown, she is afraid that
what they have will be lost (a community pool). She is not opposed to including
something for 15 year olds but she doesn’t want the entire pool to be that type. Mr.
Hunsaker related that the site could accommodate some amenities without losing the
community feel of the pool experience.
7) David Paterno - He stated that the current issues were that the pool was really crowded
on hot days and during competitions, are both pools crowded for the competitions? Mr.
Roth indicated that all six swim league pools are packed for competitions. Mr. Paterno
thanked everyone for what they are doing. It is hard to have some play areas that fits
both 10 years and above as well as those under 10. He thinks zero entry will be helpful
for those age 4, 5, 6. For 10 year olds and older, he thought basketball would be good;
for 16 and older, volleyball would be good and could be in the 3 ft section- these would
be good if separated so people are not being hit by balls. These could be put away and
just sometimes brought out for use. He is in favor of a large pool area for competition.
8) Kim Faulds - She goes to adult swim every day. She would like to see lap swim exist at
the same time as recreational swim so that everyone could be in the water at the same
time. She also would like to see swim team start later than 6:00 am.
9) Jim Meyers -
10) David Paterno - He suggested that for two weeks they close off diving board and have
people swim laps in the diving well while the rest of the community could swim in the
other part of the pool.
11) Janice Voigt - She swims laps. They used to have a time when you could swim laps in
the High School natatorium but that was cancelled by the District. She agrees with
others about no water park. Would like to see more lap lanes and more room in the
12) ?? - a park inside the pool area would be fabulous.
13) Carol Nollau - Suggested that Park Forest be made the water park.
14) ?? Would like to see a lot of shade including umbrellas.
15) ?? Would like shade shelters, water slide but not a water park, small concession stand,
zero depth entry, padding in the kids area, and something to met the needs of the bid
16) David Paterno - The pool area can get bigger because there is a lot of real estate to
increase the size.
17) Michele Rowland - Take advantage of the school parking lot and use the space for more
pool. More space at certain depths (3 ft), more open deck space. She recently visited
the newly renovated Tyrone pool and really liked it. It was a big pool with two slides,
lots of shade, zero depth entry, some water spouts, and was very affordable. That pool
did not have the staircase but she likes that concept.
18) ?? Where is everyone going to park when the Marching Band uses the South parking lot
for practice. Mr. Roth indicated that the swim lessons are finished when the Marching
Band starts their practice in August. There is one week that overlaps but that can be
adjusted through programming.
19) David Paterno - Would like something for teens, maybe a slide but thinks the lazy river
concept would be a waste. Mr. Hunsaker indicated that pools are becoming more
defined and less generalized.
20) ??? There should be some interactive features. Children seem to love the dumping
buckets that have been used in the area (at Arts Fest). Thinks it would be good to
incorporate several pieces for each. Mr. Hunsaker indicated that we are looking at a
Family Aquatics Center (instead of a “water park”) that would have balance (something
21) Carol Nollau - Thought she heard about land that was purchased in Harris Township and
that an Aquatics center would be built on that site. There is no Aquatics Center
proposed for the Oak Hall parklands (68 acres) in College & Harris Township. The land
purchased there is not for aquatics; it is primarily for sport fields.
22) ?? A little bit for everyone to keep sense of community with a place for people to hang
out while watching kids.
23) ?? Would like something for everyone but separate.
24) Al Voigt - We can only use the pool for three months and it is really limited as to when it
is crowded. He feels that attendance is down. He also thinks there are tons of things to
do for entertainment in the area, so the pool should be more functional. If a water park
was really in demand here, some commercial enterprise would have already built one
here. Does not want the bathhouse knocked down, the building is solid and perfectly
okay. He would like the water surface expanded and have lots of places for people to
25) ???? Could we see the value of each item so we know whether we could afford or not?
Mr. Hunsaker said that there will be several scenarios with the value of each item so the
elected officials will be able to decide.
26) David Paterno - If we have the values for those researched for Park Forest maybe we
could use those figures.
27) Kim Faulds - Suggested that we take some of the swim team and someone who swims
all the time and ask for their suggestions. There were meetings held earlier in the day
with pool staff and swim team parents.
28) ?? Depending on the pool size, there could be more programs such as water aerobics
and more programs would get more users.
Mr. Hunsaker indicated they would take all the information that they have gathered and work
up several options. The consultants will be back in September with these options. Those
meetings will be Sept. 24 and Sept. 25, 2007.
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