The process of creating a large multi-purpose indoor pool facility in Natchitoches through a non-profit corporation has begun, according to J.W. Scarbrough and Don Barker, two members of the organizing team of the 501c3 non-profit group, the Natchitoches Community Health and Exercise Education Association (NCH&EEA). The Association has as its purpose to provide and promote recreational activities for residents of Natchitoches Parish and the surrounding region, and designed to improve the overall health and fitness of the region’s citizens. The Association will promote various health related activities in the community, and take on the major task of raising an estimates $12-15 million needed to build the indoor pool facility.
Since the first interest meeting was held in July 2018 with over 120 residents in attendance, Barker, Scarbrough and other residents have met regularly to begin planning the best possible way to begin the project. They also traveled to Shreveport to visit the new YMCA facility on Clyde Fant Parkway. They also visited the Louisiana Tech indoor swimming pool in Ruston. At both facilities, they spoke with pool managers who provided details of the design, construction and management of the two facilities.
Fund raising to support the Natchitoches Community Health and Exercise Education Association has already begun. A voluntary minimum donation of $10 per meeting has been collected to help with some of the early costs of starting the organization. After learning of a pressing need to file three documents to complete filings to incorporate the non-profit, a $1,500 gracious donation by Leta and Ron Brown covered the cost of the three local, state, and IRS filings. David Waskom of Waskom, Brown and Associates donated his services at no cost to the new association.
Our association will need more members to assist us with committee assignments and with donations to help us achieve our goals. We will begin shortly to seek memberships from both individuals and from local and parish businesses and industries.
In the last several months the group has shifted to monthly meetings and has advertised its meetings on the last Tuesday of the month. Starting with our next meeting on March 26 at the Natchitoches Arts Center, we will change our meeting time from 5 pm to 5:30 pm.
Committees are being formed to work on the many challenges and opportunities faced in building a multipurpose pool. We need people to work on several committees. With your help, we will build a 21st century pool that would make our city a more attractive place to live, to visit, and to attend college. Contact Don Barker at 318-357-1590 or 318-332-6033, or J.W. Scarbrough at 318-357-8273 or 318-332-0721.