White Sulphur Springs City Councilmember Mark D. Gillespie said Monday that the city may have a swimming pool by summer’s end.
During Monday night’s city council meeting, Gillespie said that he has been in contact with two pool companies and has received cost estimates for both refurbishing the old, unusable Memorial Park pool and building a new one.
Gillespie said that, according to the estimates he’s received, the existing pool can be repaired for about $500,000 but would have no warranty or guarantee that it would not leak. A new pool will cost between $550,000 and $600,000, he said, and would come with a guarantee.
Gillespie warned that the estimates for a new pool do not include an estimate for a pool house, and that the city would have to hire an architect to design one.
Councilperson Audrey VanBuren, who serves as the head of the parks and recreation committee, said that regardless of the decision to refurbish or rebuild the Memorial Park pool, city maintenance workers will need to be able to access the water lines underneath the structure in order to patch leaks and drain the lines in the winter.
The old pool, built in the late 1970s, did not have that feature.
“I want this pool to last 50, 60, 70 years,” said VanBuren.
As for the cost, a pool fundraising committee was formed last winter and can now work on raising funds in earnest, now that they know how much money is needed. Council also said that funds from a pending sale of the old White Sulphur Springs High School building may be donated toward the municipal swimming pool.
“(The pool) going to happen,” said VanBuren. “We’ll get the money one way or another.”
Gillespie concurred. “Funding is in the works,” he said. “Now that we have a dollar amount, we’ll aggressively fundraise.”
Gillespie told council that they’ll need to decide on a plan quickly. If a new pool is chosen, demolition needs to begin soon.
“We need to hear from (citizens) if you have concerns,” Gillespie told the audience. “We have to decide quickly.”
Gillespie said that he’d received an excavation quote from Lynch Construction in the amount of approximately $15,000.
Council will likely vote on whether to rehab or build a new city pool at the June city council meeting.