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Copyright 2014 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
By Steven Matthews

A partnership with Wright-PattersonAirForceBase has opened the door for Fairborn, Riverside and other area residents to swim at the base's pools this summer.

Residents will have access for the first time to Prairies Pool, located on Chapel Lane near Prairie Housing, and Patterson Pool on base thanks to the Air Force community partnership, according to Alicia Eckhart, Fairborn's parks and recreation superintendent.

Eckhart said this is the first step in what could lead to more base partnerships, including Twin Base Golf Course, the Rod and Gun Club, summer camps and other programs.

There is no cost to the cities to participate in the partnership, and Eckhart said this is a way for WPAFB to generate revenue to help offset expenses.

"We're thrilled that the base is allowing this to happen, and this creates another recreational opportunity for our residents," Riverside City Manager Bryan Chodkowski said.

Neither city has a public pool. The Greene County Pool near Fair-born High School closed after the 2009 season, Eckhart said.

Based on a community needs assessment conducted last year by the city of Fairborn, the No. 1 need expressed by citizens was an outdoor pool. WPAFB filed a waiver with the Department of Defense last fall, and it was approved a month ago, Eckhart said.

"When you no longer have one (a pool), it's always heightened," Eckhart said. "The greatest part now is we'll be able to say that exists again."

Residents will not have to clear any security to swim at Prairies Pool, but would need a base sponsor for Patterson Pool, base spokesman Daryl Mayer said.

Mayer said there are no projections for attendance or how much revenue will be generated from opening the pools to local residents. Previous attendance figures and operating costs were not immediately available.

Col. Cassie Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing commander, said opening the pools to the community is a "win-win" for the base and residents. She said base officials are meeting regularly with state and local leaders to develop and expand partnerships.

"Sharing our pool resources is one of the first success stories of our efforts and is the beginning in what we hope to be a variety of shared recreational facilities and programs between the base and the surrounding communities," Barlow said.

Prairies Pool opens Saturday, with recreation swim hours from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. Pre-sale pool passes go on sale to the community today.

Rates are as follows: family season pass ($250); individual season pass ($90); individual monthly pass ($40); and individual daily pass ($5). The pools are open through Sept. 1.

For more information, call 937-257-7063.

Contact this reporter at 937-225-2281 or Follow him on Twitter@StevenWMatthews.


May 19, 2014




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