ROY — Money is pouring in to help upgrade the Roy Recreation Complex, including the city-owned facility’s struggling indoor pool.
About $1.5 million is needed, and the town has launched an effort to raise $1 million from the public, aided by Alan Hall, a longtime Roy resident and philanthropist who helps organize Ogden Pioneer Days. United Way of Northern Utah is also helping, and Roy’s town plans to donate $500,000.
Roy officials, Hall said, have never launched such an effort to obtain public donations for a city project. “I don’t know of any city that’s done something like this,” he said.
Either way, it seems to be working. As of Monday, the effort had raised $126,339 in donations according to Roy’s town website. Hall, founder of MarketStar in Ogden, said an unidentified donor would tentatively add another $500,000 on top of that. He was overflowing with optimism.
“We are suing a number of foundations, corporations, individuals, city suppliers, and hopefully this will be over within the next two weeks. I was very pleased with the response from people,” Hall said.
City officials closed the pool last spring due to mechanical problems, prompting an outcry from many Roy residents who use the pool and say the facility should be repaired. In particular, the boiler and the heat exchanger, which heat the water and the installation of the swimming pool, must be repaired, an expensive proposition.
In light of the necessary fixes, city officials have opted to pursue a more comprehensive upgrade of the facility, first built in 1948 and attract residents from other nearby towns like Hooper, West Haven and Riverdale. The targeted $1.5 million would also be used for other facility fixes and upgrades, though the city still gets a clear idea of the estimated costs to complete the work, aided by an engineering consultant.
“When the project is complete, the complex will have a new boiler, heating system, swimming pool, aerobics room, locker rooms, family locker rooms, increased ADA functionality, grounds racquetball and many other improved areas,” reads a United Way blurb about the plans. The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal measure that requires public facilities to be accessible to people with disabilities.
Officials have not specified a specific timeline, but Roy Mayor Bob Dandoy is eager to complete the project. “It’s essential to get things done,” he said.
The Roy High School swim team has been using the pool at the Roy Recreation Complex, but is looking for an alternate facility in light of the pool’s temporary closure. Many others, including seniors, also use the six-lane 25-meter pool and Hall noted that his children used the facility when they grew up.
“It’s one of the gems of your community that you want to continue,” Hall said. Some 90,000 people use the various facilities at the Roy Recreation Complex each year, according to Roy Parks and Recreation Director Travis Flint.
Roy isn’t the only one facing pool issues.
The city of Ogden closed the indoor swimming pool at the Marshall White Center in the spring of 2018. Debate over the future of the facility has simmered, and city leaders are currently planning to tear down the old building and build a facility to $23 to $25 million with a new pool and other amenities.
Ogden leaders included funding for the new Marshall White Center in the 2022-23 budget and the work would take about two years.