Community pool torn out, splash pad planned

South Charleston’s community swimming pool is no more. An excavation crew tore out the pool over the last couple of weeks. The village hopes to install a splash pad and small shelter house on the property.

(Posted Aug. 4, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

South Charleston no longer has a community swimming pool. Over the past couple of weeks, an excavation crew tore out the pool which was built around 1970.

The pool had sat idle since 2021 when the Community Recreation Commission, the non-profit organization that maintained and operated the pool, disbanded. The property belongs to the village of South Charleston. Village leaders tried for three years to recruit another organization to take over operations.

“We asked if anyone in the village would want to form a group to keep the pool open. We did have some response,” said Sam Stucky, South Charleston mayor. “A group of local citizens made a gallant effort, but it never got the grounding it needed to proceed. I met with the YMCA in Springfield to see if we could work something out, but they didn’t have the money and we didn’t have the money to make it happen.”

The pool never reopened. Additionally, experts said the repairs needed to bring the pool back to life would be cost prohibitive.

“We were afraid of the dangers of the crumbling pool,” said Trecia Waring, South Charleston village manager. “And we exhausted all our ways to get another group in there to run it. So, unfortunately, we had to excavate. As it stood, the facility was not usable at all.”

A lifeguard stand from the old South Charleston Community Pool

Denver Thompson Farms & Excavating out of South Charleston performed the excavation work at a cost of $8,000. The price was “quite a bit lower” than the other quotes the village received, Waring said, due in part to Denver Thompson donating some of his time to the project.

“He’s an area resident, went to school here, and works in the area. He donated some of his time because he knew it was a worthwhile project,” Waring said.

Stucky noted the village didn’t tear out the pool just to tear out. They have future plans for the property that will benefit the community.

“Our dream is to get a splash pad up and running,” he said.

The plan is to build a splash pad and small shelter house on the green space in front of the area where the pool used to be. Timing will depend on securing funds.

At the end of May, Waring submitted a grant application through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Each year, ODNR allocates funds to county governments. Clark County’s total allocation is $72,000.

Waring applied for the entire $72,000. The county will announce the grant winners and amounts this fall.

“Any amount of money we get from the county would be greatly appreciated,” Waring said.

The estimated cost of the project is $130,000 which would include a splash pad with six water features, a small shelter house, a sidewalk between the splash pad and shelter house, and fencing around at least three sides of the facility.

A slide from the pool

“The (village) commission is very eager to move forward as soon as possible on it,” Waring said. “If we don’t get the grant funding, we might have to work for another year toward getting donations.”

She has already talked to area business owners about the project and received positive responses about potential financial support from them. Once the grant awards are announced, she said she will talk to them again about specific funding needs.

The earliest potential start date for the splash pad project is spring 2024. If more work is needed to secure funding, the start date could be 2025, Waring said.

The facility would be designed to be very low maintenance. As the village does with the bike path restrooms, they would turn on the water to the splash pad in the spring as the weather warms up and turn it off in the fall when the weather cools down. People would use the splash pad at their own risk as no lifeguards would be on duty. Village crews would check the facility daily to make sure it is fully operational and the property is free of trash.

“There would be no cost to residents or people who want to use it, and it would be another place to do summer birthday parties and family reunions,” Waring said.

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