Renovations, future of Potawatomi Pool

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 11:28 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - City officials met Wednesday night to talk about renovations to Potawatomi Pool.

The pool has been closed all summer, as the 67-year-old equipment needs many repairs.

Aaron Perri, Executive Director for Venues Parks & Arts, talked about it at a budget hearing at Howard Park.

Perri said it would cost millions of dollars just to get the pool functioning again.

“We got the engineering report to help us understand what we are dealing with out there. Quite frankly I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet. We are going to have to get our city engineers together, with the firm that did the study, to further unpack what we need to do there,” said Perri.

Residents weighed in on it too.

“And that’s true and crunching numbers, trying to put that together, but what is a kid worth? What is our community worth? We can’t get so caught up looking at dollar symbols. Let’s put unity back in our community,” said resident Rev. Greg Brown.

Perri said the goal is to get the pool re-opened for a period of time while they work out a larger plan.

“It’s important that we get a whole masterplan with Potawatomi Park, inclusive of an aquatics plan, and figure out how we proceed from there. These things take time. They are complex. We appreciate people’s patience. We know it wasn’t a perfect scenario having the pool closed this year,” said Perri.

During his presentation, Perri also talked about some upgrades being made to LaSalle Park.

“We are going to come on and layer on some improvements to Lasalle courts,” he said.

Upgrades and remodels will also be made to Rum Village Nature Center.

“People have been asking for more community indoor useable space...make it more welcoming to the community,” said Perri.

Perri said his department rebounded from the pandemic and capital reserves remain strong.

“It’s always great when you get an opportunity to be in a public meeting to express the hard work of the staff and all the donors and volunteers represented in the statistics and the projects that we have been unpacking,” said Perri.

In other good news, Perri said the Morris Performing Arts Center was ranked 56 in the world for ticket sales.

He also said they are going to bring back the South Bend Ethnic Festival.