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Multi-Use Configuration of the Wilson Pool
Target: Users and potential users of the Wilson Pool
Region: United States of America
Petition Background (Preamble):
Since it opened in 2009, the Wilson Pool has been configured primarily in a long course -- 50 meters running the length of the pool -- mode, shown below.
That configuration serves long course lap swimmers, but does not allow for simultaneous use of the pool by lap swimmers, divers, swim lessons and others in the community (including water aerobics, scuba training, free swim, etc).
If the pool were configured in a short course mode -- with lanes running 25 yards across some portion of the width of the pool, as shown below, it could serve those multiple uses.
The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is considering purchasing movable bulkheads that can be used to split 50 meter lanes in two as shown below. Such an approach would create shorter lanes but would not as naturally accommodate diving, beginner swim lessons, water aerobics, scuba training and free swim as the short course mode shown above.
Long course swimmers note that the Wilson pool is the only DC pool other than three lanes at the East Potomac Park outdoor pool configured in the 50 meter mode. They are concerned that if the Wilson pool adopted a short course configuration, they would have no long course option in the City.
Advocates for a short course configuration argue that the Wilson pool should not be set aside as the one place for long course swimming to the detriment of other users and potential users. They believe that the fact that all other DC pools are configured in the short course mode amply illustrates the clear understanding of pool operators that such a configuration best suits the full array of users and potential users.
In 2009, DPR crafted a compromise that called for the Wilson Pool to be configured in a short course mode 50 percent of the time. That compromise has yet to be implemented. It should be. It may be that in implementing such a compromise DPR should look for ways to provide long course options at other DC pools so that between all of the DC pools long course swimmers can continue to be served as fully as possible. However, the Wilson pool should not be set aside as "the" long course pool, stifling other important uses of that community facility.
We, the undersigned, request that the Wilson pool be set-up in the 25-yard short course configuration (with the lanes running across a portion of the width of the pool) at least 50 percent of the time to enhance flexibility and allow simultaneous use of the pool by lap swimmers, divers, swim lessons and others in the community (including water aerobics, scuba training, free swim, etc).