ST. MARYS -The Pleasants County Park is home to a new aquatic center after community members requested a new facility for years, an official said.
"Citizens had asked the Pleasants County Commission why can't we have a pool similar to Marietta's Aquatic Center or the new pool at Williamstown, so the county commission and park board researched it heavily and, thank the good Lord, after a lot of hard work by many, two years later we are blessed to have a state of the art facility," said Pleasants County Commission President Jay Powell.
The old pool had been built in the late 1970s and was in disrepair with multiple leaks in the concrete liner as well as not meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, said Alan Farnsworth, Pleasants County parks superintendent.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Jessica Higgins, 10, right, and Kelsey Barnes, 11, both of St. Marys, climb across the new Pleasants County Aquatic Center using a rope ladder on Friday. The pool was built in the location of the old pool, which had been built in the 1970s.
"The new pool has a special custom-built liner that is guaranteed for years to come not to leak and has a zero-degree entry for children in wheelchairs along with a lifting apparatus to allow adults such as paraplegics or those with rheumatoid arthritis to be lowered safely and easily in and out of the water," Powell said. "It really is the best facility we could have asked for."
The aquatic center was constructed by Renosys, a pool construction company out of Indianapolis, Ind., in the same location as the old facility, including using the old pool's hole.
"We build pools all over the country from Alaska to Florida and I have never seen a pool with this many aquatic options be so inexpensive for the citizens," said Shane Ford, construction manager for Renosys. "This is an awesome facility at a very, very low price."
If You Go
* After years of questions from community members about a new pool, Pleasants County now has its own aquatic center.
* The new facility is located in Pleasants County Park just off W.Va. 2 in St. Marys where the old pool, built in the 1970s, was, said Pleasants County Commission President Jay Powell.
* The pool is open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 Sundays. Evening swim is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday with private party spaces available Thursday through Saturday.
Those aquatic options include tall slides, a rope bridge for children to climb across the water, a pirate ship and water sprays.
"There are a lot of things to keep the kids going and interested," Powell said.
The cost of the facility included $700,000 allocated by the county commission and another $100,000 in state and local grants and contributions from citizens, businesses and corporations in the area, Powell said.
"At first we didn't know if we could afford to use our existing facility, but we were able to utilize our existing pool and work very closely with the engineers with Renosys to save valuable dollars compared to the projects in Williamstown and Marietta, which were $1.5 million to $3 million projects," Powell said.
The aquatic center opened June 1 and has already reached approximately 60 percent of its total revenue from last year, despite the uncooperative weather, Farnsworth said.
"One day last week, the pool had 357 people and that is the most I have seen at the pool in 25 years," Farnsworth added. "I am proud of this facility and all the hard work has certainly paid off as everyone seems to be having a great time."