Think About It: Natatorium Rumblings - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 14, 2016

Think About It: Natatorium Rumblings

A new plan has been put forward to re-open the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial by 2019. But don't don your swim goggles just yet. You know what this means. It means an idea has been put forward with some thought that will need to be vetted on myriad fronts- environmental impact, safety, and of course that little factor known as cost.

But at least it's a shot in the dark to get activity moving once again on a project that has been on the back and front burners now for 37 years. Yes, that's right, the former public swimming pool was closed due to upkeep problems back in 1979, the same year that gas cost  86-cents a gallon, the Dow hit 838, VHS recorders were $55 and a Toyota Corolla would set you back $3,700. Ideas for this World War I memorial have been tossed around sporadically with no movement, no resolution, and no political will to get it done.

And the sad thing is that this esteemed relic, in some form, could be educational, historical, and functional in some manner if people would just accept that everyone won't be happy with whatever resolution is decided upon. Of course, after 37-years, I wouldn't hold my breath for quick resolution. It's apparently better to sadly watch the Natatorium atrophy until someone gouges themselves on exposed rebar or trips on uneven cement and a lawsuit possibly prompts action. A local monument that was nationally listed as endangered 21-years ago has yet one more moment of hope with a new idea to salvage it. Is anybody listening? And if this renovation simply doesn't pan out, will anybody finally make a decision to honor those who served and for whom this edifice was built? Think about it…

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