Friday October 8th, 2021
Latest News: Site Donation Complete!
Mayor Hyrum Johnson of Driggs and Teton Valley Aquatics (TVA) are pleased to announce an official location for a future community aquatics and recreation center through a generous donation of seven acres in Driggs city limits.
“Whether for teaching children the life skill of swimming, critical therapy for the injured, or good clean fun, an aquatic center will fill many needs and serve a broad range of our community members,” said Johnson. “The City of Driggs is pleased to partner with Teton Valley Aquatics to bring this dream to life for our community.”
“The land donation is a crucial step in the development of an aquatics center for affordable swim lessons, recreation opportunities, physical therapy, and more,” said Barb Beller, TVA Board of Directors Chair. “I’d like to extend a huge thanks to Ball Ventures, Inc and Squeak and Patti Melehes for their donations and to Mayor Johnson and City of Driggs Community Development Director, Doug Self, for their hard work and support.”
The donations come after five years of work by TVA staff, volunteers, and city officials to secure a site for the facility. The land, located near the intersection of Ski Hill Road and 5th Street, was generously donated by Ball Ventures, Inc (5 acres) and Squeak and Patti Melehes (2 acres).
A 2017 survey representing more than 3,700 community members identified an aquatics center as a top priority for Teton County residents. This summer also proved a high level of community interest when 200 swim lessons and 100 adult program sessions at the temporary pool in Driggs City Park sold out.
The City of Driggs and TVA worked in conjunction with VCBO architects to complete the Engineering Design and Financial Feasibility study for the aquatics and recreation facility in 2019 and now the land donation sets the stage for the next phase of the project. In 2022, Teton Geothermal, LLC will privately drill a well to determine whether an underground reservoir fed by snowmelt from the Tetons and heated by the Yellowstone hotspot, could provide a source of high pressure, hot water for the aquatics center.
A 2020 numerical model study by Idaho National Laboratory researchers determined that the site’s geothermal potential is high. The well, if successful, could generate hydroelectric power, heat the aquatics center, and provide hot water for outdoor hot pools. The findings of this phase will determine the capital needed to design and build the facility.
“A community aquatics center is close to becoming a reality,” said Teton Valley Aquatics Executive Director Stacy Stamm. “We need the community’s support now more than ever to keep us moving towards a year-round community recreation and aquatics facility.”
More information about the project, including survey results and the full feasibility study, can be found at TetonValleyAquatics.org