From March-December 2013 the natatorium went through a remodel. Director of Facilities Jim Christensen said the primary function of the remodel was to save the building, which was “dying.” The plumbing and wiring of the building were being corroded by the humidity and chlorine.
Since the natatoriums are the Box Elder School Districts most expensive buildings to operate, the school board wondered if it would be in their best interest to just “let it die” and knock it down.
After much discussion and realizing a facility was needed locally in order to continue offering swimming programs, it was decided to make the building last for as long as possible.
Christensen felt this was the best course of action. He said, “Whoever built the pool originally really did a great job. The pool itself is really sound. It was worth fixing and maintaining.”
The building, which was built in the early 1980s, lasted 30 years. But with upgraded materials and new technology, the building is expected to last 50 years.
While planning, the school board looked at current and future needs that would fit those of Bear River High School and the district. “Our primary function was to facilitate Bear River High School and the Box Elder School District,” said Christensen. “There was not as big of a need for the public, there was a greater need for the students that we had to address.”
One misconception is that the natatorium is a community pool, but it actually belongs to Box Elder School District. Although the district felt there was no profit from public use they decided it was a valuable asset to the community.
Get the full story in this week’s Leader.