Vaught's Views: Why not a Casey aquatic center?

June 29, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Of all the possible places for an aquatic center in this area, Casey County would not have been the likely choice.

But innovative thinking is something that can sometimes lead to making dreams come true as well as erasing stereotypes about a certain place, or county, not being a trendsetter.

If Boyle County can rise from the high school football doldrums to win five straight state titles as the Rebels have, why can't Casey County find a way to build an indoor aquatic center that would be the envy of every surrounding county?

Last week a 14-member aquatic center research committee started gathering information on cost and design and undoubtedly will have far more questions than answers in the next few weeks.


A lot of questions have to be answered

Where will the pool be? What size should it be? Will it be an outdoor or a year-round indoor facility? Where will funding come from? Who can use the pool?

However, if someone isn't willing to ask questions, answers will never be provided.

Just think of all the possibilities if Casey is able to pull off this project. High school and middle school swim teams could be started. If an Olympic-size indoor pool is funded and built, Casey might become a training point for other swimmers who now must make the drive to Lexington to train.

Recreation? A youth swim team could be organized and compete year round. The average Casey Countian would have a place to exercise, or just swim for fun.

Liberty Mayor Steve Sweeney said a pool was needed because it would be a "valuable thing for kids."

That's the same theme those supporting a needed skatepark in Boyle County have been advocating for months. And as nice as it will be to have skateparks here and also in Mercer County, an aquatic center in Casey will benefit far more people.

Nice to see cooperation between city and county officials

It's also nice to see the apparent joint cooperation being sought from city and county officials to make the aquatic center concept a possbility.

"That main thing is to do something for the kids in the city and county and make it a joint venture," said Mike True at last week's meeting.

True is a parent who has two daughers that both swim and now have to travel out of the county to train and compete. Yet he obviously understands that a pool can benefit more than just the serious swimmer.

Who knows? Maybe Casey has its own Elaine Breeden. She's the 15-year-old swimmer from Lexington who is headed to Long Beach, Calif., in hopes of earning a spot on the United States Olympic team that will compete in Athens later this summer.

So dream on, Casey Countians. Look into the Olympic-size indoor pool that would be a first-class facility any swimmer would be happy to have. Look for ways to raise money from grants to donations to fees to volunteer labor.

Sweeney said last week that "we can downsize our dreams" if the project proves too expensive or far-fetched. However, dreams are how the best ideas start and why those in Casey working on this project should keep dreaming big as long as they can in hopes that this dream can become a reality.

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