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City’s new pool to open with splash

Dennis Webb

Just in time for people who are tiring of the cold and are catching island fever, the city of Glenwood Springs is planning a luau, complete with beach balls, limbo contests and the chance to trade snowsuit for swimsuit and make a splash.About all the city can’t provide is an ocean – but it has a brand-new, long-awaited municipal pool to offer instead.The city is planning a day of both formalities and fun Friday, Jan. 7, as it dedicates the new indoor pool at the Community Center.Originally, the dedication was to have taken place Friday. But contractors encountered problems with the pool’s movable bulkhead, or partition. That required them to drain some of the pool so they could work on the bulkhead.Once the pool is refilled, it must be heated and treated with chemicals before it can be used. It’s possible the city will open the pool to swimmers before the dedication.Terri Miller, the volunteer who chairs the LAP (Let’s All Pledge) pool fund-raising drive, said she wasn’t surprised by the latest delay, having seen her share of them with the project.”I’m just happy that we’re going to get it done right,” she said. “We’re just happy to see it finally happening.”Anyone else who shares the excitement of pool supporters that their dream is coming to fruition will enjoy dedication day. A formal ribbon-cutting will take place at noon, involving city officials, pool supporters, and architect and contractor representatives. Free use of the pool and community center will follow from 1 to 3 p.m., said Kristi Brewer, the city’s aquatics manager.You might want to come in beach garb that day if you don’t want to feel out of place. Brewer said there will be splash and limbo contests, races between the public and lifeguards, and crafts and free fish tattoos for kids. The first 500 people to use the pool over that weekend will get free beach balls.The evening of the dedication, the city will be offering Swimmn-Cinema, consisting of a poolside showing of a family movie.Miller said she thinks the addition of the pool will boost family membership at the community center.”I think it brings a whole new dimension to the community center,” she said.Though the pool is opening, fund-raising to pay for it continues. LAP has received $1.875 million in pledges but hopes to raise a total of $3.2 million by November.Miller said there has been some some concern that pledges would drop off once the pool opens, but she thinks having a facility in place will inspire donations instead.Once they see the pool, she said, “I think people want to be a part of it.”By contributing, they’ll have a chance to literally be a part of the pool facility. LAP is planning to create an 8-by-2-foot plaque at the pool that will contain LAP’s “splash” logo and list the names of all who have contributed $250 or more. The size of names will correspond with the level of giving.A book at the community center also will list all pool donors.Key Construction is building the pool, and work began in January. The company and city entered into a lease buyback agreement for construction costs that haven’t yet been covered. The city will pay Key Construction interest until the city completes the pool purchase.The LAP campaign allows donations to be spread out through 2008.Miller said about $500,000 in pledges have yet to be collected, but that includes about $300,000 pledged under the deferred payment program.The 11,000-square-foot pool facility connects to the community center gym. The pool will be open to the public and also available for swim meets. The facility includes a one-meter diving board, and a leisure area with play features. There is a separate spa area and access to a large outdoor patio.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com


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