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An agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College, PA 16801
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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:
Serving the Borough of State College and the Townships of College, Ferguson, Harris & Patton

Summary of comments received via mail and email
for the William L. Welch Pool Renewal project (as of 15 Aug 07):

Sent: July 23, 2007 11:34 AM
Subject: Welch Pool ideas

I would like to give my five cents for some idea on how to upgrade Welch community pool. The highest priority is to keep the pool in the same location - right there in the middle of its community. It functions as a community meeting point. You meet your neighbor, children can bike or walk to the pool (giving them a sense of responsibility and community!). It would make no sense to place the pool outside of its current community and to increase the number of vehicles driving to and from a community pool. Actual ideas for the pool could include:
1. A walk-in beach style entry
2. Slide
3. Coffee stand/vending
4. More Adirondack chairs.
5. More umbrellas/canopies
6. Lawn
7. Wavepool - if this idea requires the pool to be re-built in another location, then my suggestion would be to build a new pool somewhere else, but by all means keep Welch where it is. I am sorry that I can not participate in Tuesday nights meeting. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to "gather voices" from the community to make sure that Welch Community pool stays in its current location. We absolutely love Welch pool. It has become a summer tradtion over the past seven years for our family and so many other families in State College. Thanks again for letting the public speak and be heard, we appreciate it very much.
Pernille Boving
930 Robin Road

From: Thomas Daubert
Sent: July 24, 2007 8:34 AM
Subject: Welch Pool Renewal
As a State College Council member, member of the ad hoc regional parks committee, and an almost daily user of Welch Pool, I have a brief comment on the planning process. Discussing the pool renewal with the 'Welch Pool Regulars' reinforces my opinion that the basic purpose of the pool is to serve the recreational needs of Centre Region residents including local competition but not other than incidental service to outside organizations and groups. Community Pools should not be destinations for tourists or competition junkies. They are to serve the communities and taxpayers of the region. The older group is well-served by the current pool. Replacement of the piping and other infrastructure is obviously necessary. The retirement of the baby pool and installation of a zero depth entrance in that shallow end of the pool will serve us well. However, total rebuilding of the service facilities - office and changing rooms- doesn't appear to be necessary at Welch as it obviously is at Park Forest. I'm sure I'll have more comments as the plans proceed. Thanks for listening.

Tom Daubert 

From: Susan F. Smith, Consultant, PO Box 1026, Lemont PA 16851        814-238-1288
Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on the Welch Pool project. We were unable to attend the public meeting. My comments are listed below: I have only visited the pool four times, but each time I found the shower/bathrooms very dirty (probably impossible to clean because of the materials used) I think it's important for children and older people, especially, to get the chlorine off of their skin and hair before it dries, there were too many children who had been dropped off, with no supervision, behaving badly, and lifeguards were very young and were more interested in socializing with the other kids than watching the pool. I realize that only one of these comments relates to the current project, but these are also concerns that I have. Since I can take the CATA bus to the University Pool, I prefer taking my grandchildren and neighborhood children there, instead of Welch, for all of the above reasons.
Sue Smith

From: Marjorie Costello, 202 Ellen Ave, State College, PA 16801    (814) 231-8415
Although I was unable to attend last night's meeting I would like to share my ideas for the future of Welch Pool. Upon discussing improvements with my family, which includes three children, ages 10,12,14, we would like to see the following improvements. At this point, please understand that this is "brainstorming" and I do not know the amount of the budget you're working with.
1) cleaner bathrooms
2) cleaner and more user friendly showers. more hot water, showers that operate without having to hold the water faucet (perhaps "timed" showers?)
3) Adirondack type chairs, lots! or low-beach type chairs, even if you have to "check " them out at the front desk.
4) vending machines that work
5) more food options - perhaps sell cold drinks, fruit cups, etc at the front desk? or ice cream bars or Popsicles. Have the food booth open and manned, not just during swim meets.
6) outdoor stations for people to rinse off before entering the pool.
That's all for now. Thanks for listening.
Marjorie Costello

From: Vicki Fong of State College
Please expand the size of the pools and the water park-type features are important to attracting more families and teens.
1. Many people don't have the skills to swim in the deep end of the pool or dive, myself included.
2. Then, non-swimming adults huddle in the shallow end, crowding out small children and other youth. this includes teens who like to play games but can't swim well. My teens and friends avoid Welch pool because of the overcrowding from young children and pre-teens. Plus, there is a perception of germs and lack of sanitation due to aging facility.
3. I have used the waterpark features at DelGrosso park and found them greatly enjoyed by young adults and teens.
4. waterpark features are not a luxury. They are important recreational activities that help keep our youth out of trouble and into healthy activities.
5. Many municipal pools are giving up diving due to liability insurance from neck injuries plus the declining number of people who dive.
6. Would like longer adult-swim time. Am willing to pay a few extra dollars in taxes to keep a healthy community.
Vicki Fong of State College
longtime resident, taxpayer and parent

From: Mark Jancin, 848 Bayberry Drive, State College
My comments on the pending Master Site Plan are simple -- as a local resident who uses the pool and drives by it frequently on Westerly Parkway, I do not want to see a significant increase in the car traffic at this location. MSPs and the related subcontractors always seem to promote "bigger is better" because it serves their financial interests. In the case of Welch pool, I think the current sizes of the pool and parking area are satisfactory. The last thing I want to see is traffic delays and overcrowding at the pool.

From:Kelly A. Delaney-Klinger, Assistant Professor
The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Management and Organization
Smeal College of Business
University Park, PA 16802       Voice: 814-863-4593  Fax: 814-863-7261

 I am sorry I was unable to attend the recent planning meeting on Tuesday evening for the renovation of Welch pool. Unfortunately, that was the night of a swim meet between Welch and Park Forest. I suspect that if the meeting had been held at the pool that night, you would have received very different comments and suggestions than those reported in the Centre Daily Times.
As a mother of two children of very different ages (4 and 11), I have to agree with the consultant quoted in the paper: families are looking for fun, interactive facilities. For my own family, there are a few crucial things:
- Areas for swimmers of various proficiencies. My older son can swim laps, play water polo, enjoy a big slide, diving board, etc. My younger son appreciates a nice, shallow area free from the "big kids" and fun things like a sprinkler area or height appropriate slides. As an adult, I would enjoy a variety of activities ranging from lap swimming to simply floating around.
- Clean, spacious changing/bathroom facilities with options for showering or simply changing clothes.
- Family seating areas with tables/chairs.
I also agree with the consultant that we should be thinking of future use when renovating the pool. There seems to be an attitude in town that life is and will continue to be as it was 50 years ago. We could certainly debate whether the changes in our children's expectations about recreation are positive or negative. However, these expectations are what they are. If we want to continue to offer recreational opportunities for a wide variety of people in our community, then we need to design facilities that
are flexible and cater to as many different use patterns as possible.
Meeting the needs of a broader consumer base also makes sense financially. f we as a region are going to spend money on these facilities, we need to do it "right." Let's make sure our investment is one that will bring returns in the form of increased community participation across all demographic areas.
Thank you for allowing me to contribute my input.
Dr. Kelly Delaney-Klinger

From: Carolyn Rohan
301 Rolling Ridge Dr
State College, PA 16801
Sorry to have missed the meeting tues night concerning improvements for Welch Pool. I am a senior citizen and I usually take the children about 3 times a week to the pool myself and the rest of the time their parents take them. I would like to add a few suggestions to the planning committee for pool improvements:
1. More chairs to use at the pool.
2. More parking closer to pool.
4. Prior notice to when the pool sessions end early due to swim meets, etc., such as a season schedule.

July 24, 2007

Mr. Todd Roth, Aquatics Supervisor
Centre Region Parks and Recreation
2643 Gateway Drive #1
State College, PA 16801

Dear Mr. Roth,

The construction of a new Welch Pool is very important to State College.  How that is accomplished and the design will have a significant impact on this community for the next 50 years much the way it has for the past 50 years. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get it done right.  We believe that the choice of a 50 meter by 25 yard pool with an additional zero depth entry section and leisure features are what is needed for this community in the long term.

Functionality and Flexibility - We believe a full sized pool with additional leisure features provides the most functionality and flexibility.  While a design with a primary leisure theme has been popular in recent years, it does not provide the flexibility and potential of a full sized pool.  A full size pool can:

  • Provide opportunities for practice and competition that are not otherwise open to the public in this area.
  • Include a design for leisure bathing such as water slides, zero depth entry, fountains, and diving boards.
  • Include attractive landscaping features.
  • Provide adequate adult lap swimming opportunities.
  • Have a secondary economic benefit to the region.

Lack of Aquatic Facilities – The Centre Region is far behind other comparable areas in aquatic facilities.

  • The newest aquatic facility in the area is at the State College YMCA.  It includes an 8-lane 25 yard pool and a warm water therapy pool.  After years of planning, it was completed in 2003.  It is fully utilized and it was realized that it was too small for using population almost immediately after it was built.
  • The Penn State University outdoor pool is the only full size pool in the area.  While it has certain hours that are open to the public, these hours are very limited and this facility is over extended.  For example the master’s swim program, comprised of adult swimmers that like to train regularly, has as little as one lane available to them at times.  Most of their practice times this summer begin at 8:00 am when most adults need to be at work.
  • When compared to other areas of the state that have populations with similar economic, educational and athletic development, the State College area is far behind those other areas in aquatic facilities.

A full size pool is an important step in the development of State College by helping to address lack of facilities and providing future possibilities for the region.  We hope that that our community will have the vision to step up to such a need.


James Myers                                                                Bernie Ryan
1125 Karen Street                                                         340 E. Outer Drive
Boalsburg, PA 16827                                                   State College, PA 16801

Email from
John & Betty L. Moore   238-2895     11 Aug 07
705 Windsor Ct., State College, PA 16801

My husband (John ) and I want to comment on the renovation plans for Welch
Pool which our family has belonged for nearly 39 years.
-          Renovations and repairs are certainly necessary.
-          Please keep the lap swimming and general family swim options as the main priorities.
-          Make 8 regulation lanes
-          Adding a few 'sprays' and other minor attractions ok but please do NOT make Welch Pool into an
-          The baby pool needs a lot of work .. walk in approach, better cleansing, etc.
-          Add management standards that are better regulated.  For example, stop the 'private swim lessons' interference with the adult swimming times/areas.

From: Joe Boris
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 8:25 AM
Subject: Welch Pool renovation

Hello Todd,
I talked over the renovations a lot this Summer with other patrons of the pool. These are a few of the things I would like to see:
1. An eight lane pool for use only by Centre Region. No outside groups for cutting time away from residents.
2. A concession stand manned by hired residents. People should still be allowed to bring food and drinks with them. I feel that once it becomes known that we are selling for the pool, they will cease to bring in things and purchase from us.
3. Keep the baby pool. It is needed.
4. Keep the two diving boards.
5. We should have an area where kids can learn to dive without closing off one of the diving areas.
6. A new slide is needed.
7. A new changing area is needed.
8. Please do not put in any sand areas. This will really mess up the filters and be spread around all non sand pool areas.
Once the plan is proposed are we going to have a chance to see it and comment on it?
Joseph Boris

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The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive #1 , State College, PA. USA 16801   (814)231-3071   Fax 814.235.7832