To thank the community for their support of the new swimming pool complex in Prentis Park, the city has decided to give naming rights to the people in the form of a contest.
James Goblirsch, director of Vermillion’s Parks and Recreation department, said the citizens of Vermillion deserve a chance to make their mark on the facility.
“Our thought was, since the people voted on it, and it’s going to be the peoples’ pool, let’s give them an opportunity to have a chance to name it,” Goblirsch said. “It’s another way to get the citizens involved and have a part ownership in it.”
The contest is being conducted through a website, and paper submissions can be submitted at the Vermillion’s city hall and public library.
“We’re going to narrow it down to four names that are appropriate, and then we’re going to put that back out and do a final four vote for a week, where people then can vote on the final four names that have been selected,” Goblirsch said.
Goblirsch said the city has already received around 40 or 50 name submissions online, as well as about a dozen paper entries.
“We know we’re probably going to get a few off-color ones, or inappropriate names in there, and we’re going to look at them and disregard them,” Goblirsch said.
The other rule is that the pool won’t be named after any living or deceased person. Goblirsch said the thought behind this policy is that people often want to name facilities in honor of someone who has recently died, without considering whether or not it actually makes sense to use the person’s name.
“We didn’t want to go that route,” Goblirsch said. “The city kind of stays away from that.”
Other than not naming the pool after any person and not accepting any obscene suggestions, Goblirsch said there are few parameters for what names may be accepted.
“We’re just looking for a fun name for the pool,” Goblirsch said.
The winner of the contest may get more than the glory of naming rights – Goblirsch said that whoever comes up with the name, as long as they’re not anonymous, will be offered a free season pass.
The pool itself, which is set to cost approximately $5.3 million dollars, is faced with three to four more months of construction before opening to the public, Goblirsch said.
Elijah Bonde, tourism and marketing coordinator for the Vermillion Chamber and Development Company (VCDC), said people in town are enthusiastic about being able to be part of the pool planning process.
“I think people are definitely excited about the opportunity to be able to engage with the new pool concept, and with the park,” Bonde said.
The joy of having a brand-new pool itself, however, may be what people are most thrilled about.
“It’s one of those things the community is really looking forward to,” Bonde said. “I think the community is really excited for that, especially a lot of the kids in town.”
Entries for the contest were due Feb. 6. The voting on the final four will begin next week.