A $1 million expansion of the Rockville Municipal Swim Center is being considered by Rockville city lawmakers.
The addition would have a six-lane, 25-meter pool with a special 30-foot-wide access ramp for handicapped and elderly swimmers.
Members of the municipal pool, at Welsh Park near downtown Rockville, say it now is severely overcrowded.
At a City Council meeting earlier this week, a group of athletes told council members their swim team practice must begin at 4:45 a.m. because the pool is too crowded at other times during the day.
Paula Wendt, who said she must swim laps to ease back pain, complained there are often eight swimmers in each lane of the pool. "It's like a pulley system -- if you ever have to take an extra breath, forget it," she said.
According to Wayne Hughes, the Virginia architect who designed the addition, the Rockville pool is used by three times as many people as other public pools in the metropolitan area. He said due to the inadequate space, swimming programs offered at the pool must have limited enrollment.
Council members John Tyner and John Freeland said they support the pool project but they want assurances that there will be efforts to attract new members to the expanded facility. Tyner added that a plan to build a second pool in another part of the city had been scrubbed as too costly.
In other business, the council discussed the idea of holding a public forum on cable television.
The city has long opposed bringing in a cable franchise but recent Montgomery County moves toward establishing a countrywide cable system have prompted city officials to take a new look at the subject. A discussion of whether to hold a public hearing is to take place in two weeks.