Manhattan Kansas in need of public indoor pool


Avery Inman, Staff Writer

For many of us in high school, sports are a big part of our lives. For me swimming is my sport and, in a way, my life. In the last year and a half my swim journey has had many ups and downs, the biggest reason for them being the lack of a public indoor pool. Because of the disturbance to training, lost the ability to host home meets, the many public benefits and economic help, a public indoor pool is a need for the city of Manhattan. 

After several years of declining condition, COVID-19 led to the permanent shutdown of the Natatorium at Kansas State University, where the Manhattan Marlins and the high school teams practiced. This interrupted the training schedule and ability to host meets. Since then I have trained in Alma, Wamego, at the Genesis Health Clubs, Fort Riley and had to take multiple months off of training due to the lack of a pool. 

While all of this was happening, most other clubs in the state continued training without any interruption. Having another option for an indoor pool would’ve allowed the teams to continue with almost no interruption to the season.

A big part of sports in high school is getting to home games and meets. The joy of these is getting to be on your home turf, you don’t have to travel, and more family and friends will attend. While away meets you have to travel, swim in different pools and not as many friends and family attend. With my freshman season being canceled and the closing of the natatorium I never got to experience a home meet and it’s looking like many swimmers never will. Having an indoor pool would give us the fun experience of a home meet. 

Getting the city on board is a big hurdle, but they should realize an indoor pool would benefit more than just the swim teams. With a space for the teams to hold competitions, we could have more meets and build revenue in the town. With meets people will need food, lodging and entertainment. Additionally an indoor pool could have public swim time, hold classes, and provide jobs. An indoor pool would benefit the entire Manhattan community as it could be used for more than meets and practices for the teams, the entire public could use it for many purposes year round. 

The need for an indoor public pool in Manhattan is significant and would have many benefits. While I’ve accepted that I may not get the chance to benefit from the pool, I want to work at getting one so other people can get what I didn’t have.