BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Parks and Recreation Department has been working since November to hear from the public on the future of two historic neighborhood pools in Boise.
South Pool on the Boise Bench and Lowell Pool near State Street were built in 1953, but they were closed down during the pandemic and now they need so some big changes to ever open again.
"They were a unique design there is just a handful of these pools left in the country and we have two of them," said Doug Holloway the director of the Parks and Rec Department. "The big factors are they are neighborhood-based, walkable, bikeable and it also has some historic nostalgic significance to our community."
Around 2,000 people took a survey for both Lowell and South Pools and after this past week's open house for the public to check out these pools we learned there are two main options for the future of these pools.
Option one includes keeping the existing pool but doing the work to bring the plumbing, the mechanical and the electrical up to modern codes while also making the pool ADA accessible.
Option two consists of tearing down the pool and building a designing a new one from scratch, both plans have a preliminary cost of between four and six million dollars.
"The feedback we have received has really centered on keeping the pool as it is," said Holloway. "Bring all the code requirements up to current standards and get it back open."
We met Austin Stallings at the open house who heard about it from a mailer the city sent out as he lives nearby, Stallings voted to keep the historic pools but he seemed more impressed with the process of keeping everybody informed and having the opportunity to voice his opinion.
"I wanted to see the architecture whether it was good or bad," said Stallings. "Stuff like this keeps a community together and on the same page at least we are aware of stuff going on so this is good."
The nostalgia is very real we talked with a teenage girl who told us she did her first cannonball at Lowell Pool and several people told us they grew up swimming at this pool that goes back generations in Boise.
Once the Parks and Rec Department finishes this engage piece they will present a report to the Mayor and City Council who will have the final say in the future of these two historic pools that have now been closed for two summers.