Savanna Pool in Hot Water, ‘Save the Pool’ Committee Formed
Members of the Savanna Swimming Pool’s water aerobics class met with Physical Therapists Lynnette Jones and Gary VandeKamp, who critiqued the program and gave recommendations for ways to improve the class that provides exercise with less impact on the body. The group is working with the Savanna Park District and members of a newly formed committee to try and save the pool from closure. (PA photo/Lynnette Forth)
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
The recent announcement of the Savanna Pool closing has prompted the formation of a new committee in the hopes of finding a way to change the decision made by the Park District.
A small group of just three people has been working diligently under the name of “Save the Pool” to look for funding and ways of encouraging more people to utilize the facility.
“At the Park District level, there are no funds,” said Karen Mennenga, Secretary/Treasurer of the Park District. “The Park District owns and runs the facility, but due to [lack of] funding, the closing has been in the making for awhile. We are in desperate need of attendance. Last year, the daily attendance was just 46 per day, and this year it has been 49 daily.”
One of the activities that the pool offers is water aerobics, which is held once a day Monday-Friday for one hour. Ten people are needed to attend in order to pay for the lifeguard who is required to be present.
One class participant, Ron Roels, is very passionate about the program. “There is no reason we can’t find financing. Other towns in the area have a pool, and have funding. It’s the money problem. The school district needs to be pushed to get kids in here for physical education. We live in a river town. Kids need to know how to swim. Get the school board on board. What is the city’s obligation? They need to cough up some money.”
The new committee consists of Lydia Root, Carol Gloor and Barb High. Root reported, “The pool closed last Friday,” Root said. “Our group went to the Park Board meeting and asked if we could form a committee to save the pool. We need the community’s help. Barb High has the capability for working on grants. I am trying to improve the water aerobics class. I am going to try to make our program better as far as impact on the body. There are people that need the pool.”
Root scheduled two physical therapists to be on hand during an aerobics class held Friday, August 16, to get recommendations from them on how to improve the program from a therapy standpoint.
Gary VandeKamp and Lynnette Jones both work in the area, and VandeKamp teaches an Aquatic Therapy Program at the Clinton YMCA, which Ron Roels also attends regularly. The therapy program consists of a 40 minute one-on-one session in a warm water environment.
Aquatic Therapy is available to patients with chronic pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, and patients recovering from surgery or injury. Water therapy provides support that significantly decreases stress on weight bearing joints, muscles and bones. This allows patients to enjoy a greater range of motion, flexibility and endurance with less pain. Roels is passionate about the possibility of bringing such a program to Savanna.
The Savanna Park Board has agreed not to make any final decisions regarding the possible closure of the pool until December. Community members wishing to help are urged to give suggestions and ideas, or join the committee. At the present time, no meetings for the committee have been finalized, but anyone with questions is asked to contact the Savanna Park Board office at 815-273-4487.