I urge the UAA administration to maintain the swimming pool in the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. There are too few pools in a city which endures six months of harsh winter. Repurposing the UAA pool and the building for relocating staff from decentralized locations, new classrooms, student services, retail or another volleyball court would be a misuse of a building designed exclusively for athletic activities and would cost more than maintaining the pool. To divide multi-purpose use by athletes, classes, office and retail workers would provide an inadequate environment for none of them. The current ice rink, pool, weight rooms and gym make an ideal place for students and the public to meet and workout during the days, evenings and weekends. My family and I have used the pool and facilities for 40 years.
While working for the Alaska State Legislature for 6 years I supported the $15 million design costs and $100 million construction appropriations for the Alaska Airlines Center, which now is a sunk cost without a pool or ice rink and with limited parking for major sporting events. UA budget problems cannot be solved solely by repurposing buildings and cutting staff or sports teams. It needs support of the Legislature for the capital and operating budgets and contributions from large organizations in the community. Some patients from adjacent Providence Hospital continue rehab in the Wells Fargo Sports Complex; and Conoco-Phillips, BP, Alaska Airlines and local banks have been major contributors in the past.
Thomas S. Obermeyer, Sr. , J.D., MBA Licensed Missouri Attorney