Southwest Florida’s largest city is under pressure to build a bigger swimming pool. On Wednesday, dozens of coaches, parents, and even kids pushed the Cape Coral City Council to bring a swimming facility to the area.
Currently, the Cape Coral High School pool is shared by multiple schools and swim clubs.
“We just don’t have the space. We have to kind of flip-flop groups to be able to accommodate everybody,” said Kristen Tedhams, a volunteer swim coach.
This pool only has six swimming lanes. An Olympic size swimming pool can accommodate five times as many swimmers.
Ed Collins, the head coach of the Oasis High School Swim team, has been a swim coach for more than 50-years. He says it’s heart-breaking and turning kids away because of the lack of space.
“The other schools are sent out of Cape Coral. I coached Mariner one year, I’ve coached Cape Coral, I’ve coached Bishop Verot, and now I’m at Oasis, and the other schools don’t have facilities,” said Collins.
Some people pointed out the fence where kids hang their bags because the facility doesn’t have locker rooms.
Parents hope to see a 50-meter pool in Cape Coral, saying the current 25-yard pool is like telling a football player to only practice on half a field.
“If you’re a football player and think about if you’re just practicing running 50 yards and that’s how you get your touchdown,” said Karen Kendzierski, a swim parent and grandparent.
“The kids don’t have enough room,” said Lori Muschiana, a swim parent.
Some parents also spoke about the larger swimming complexes in other parts of the state that host large meets. They said the City of Cape Coral is losing out on the revenue that comes along with it.
“From Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you’re usually looking at anywhere from $700 to $1,000 by the time you look at hotel accommodations and your meals out and the entry fees,” said Kendzierski.
Parents and coaches said with the growth of the city, they’d like more families to have swimming as an option for their kids. They said they’re happy the city council was receptive to the idea and that they’ll keep pushing until it becomes a reality.