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Mitchell looks at building indoor pool as partner with DWU, Avera

The Mitchell City Council plans to discuss tonight whether the city should build an indoor swimming pool next to Dakota Wesleyan University’s as-yet unbuilt wellness center.

Mayor Ken Tracy told The Daily Republic on Friday that the council’s discussion will provide an opportunity to present the project to the public and give city officials a chance to hear feedback.

“We’re going to put it on the table and get the ball rolling,” Tracy said.

DWU plans to break ground this fall on a new $10 million, 90,000-square-foot wellness center on the south side of the school’s campus in Mitchell. Tracy said he hopes the city’s indoor swimming pool — estimated to cost approximately $6 million — can be built in conjunction with DWU’s new facility.

If the city’s indoor swimming pool project is well received by the council and the public, Tracy said the city would move ahead with the project as soon as possible.

Though the two facilities could be built next to each other — or even attached to one another — Tracy said both entities will pay for their own facilities and not share in the cost of construction.

Tracy declined Friday to reveal how the city plans to pay for the indoor swimming pool, saying it would be discussed at tonight’s meeting.

There also have been ongoing discussions about a possible partnership between the city, DWU and Avera Queen of Peace Hospital to promote wellness in the community, Tracy said, though exactly what that partnership would entail remains to be decided.

“Nothing has been agreed upon, other than we think there are some benefits to a partnership between the three of us to improve wellness in the community,” Tracy said.

A possible renovation of the city’s current Recreation Center or even the construction of a brand new facility have also been discussed in the past, but Tracy said those projects proved too expensive for the city to take on immediately.

“We don’t have the financial resources at the present time to do that,” he said. “We would have to wait several years to be in that position.”