Residents voiced their desire for a community pool at Monday's public forum, but an architect hired by the town said a facility that meets their requests could cost more than $8 million, which is $6 million over budget.
Town leaders responded by agreeing to solicit financial support from other local governments.
At the forum, residents made pleas for the specific form that the Homestead Park Aquatic/Community Center would take.
The two most popular requests were for the creation of either an indoor heated therapeutic pool or a 50-meter lap pool.
Those requesting a lap pool were accompanied by a petition that the Town Council had misplaced since October 2000. The petition contained 469 signatures in favor of a lap pool.
Rich Miller, swimming coach at East Chapel Hill High School, spoke of the overcrowded pools in which his students train. "In each lane it is common, not rare, to find 10 or more swimmers," Miller said.
But a warm-water therapeutic pool appeals to other residents for various reasons. One of the only available facilities is the warm-water pool at Duke University. But it is open only to the patients receiving therapy.
Poonam Pande's son, of 303 Perry Creek Drive, has cerebral palsy and utilizes this pool.
"(The lack of a public heated pool) has not only excluded my son from his friends and family, but his siblings," Pande said.