Rifle seeks new name for pool

As construction speeds along, city seeks name ideas from residents

The six-lane lap pool dwarfs workers as they work to backfill around the sides of the pool Monday afternoon.

With construction on the new Rifle pool pushing through the winter months, officials are making plans for naming the facility as the projected opening day nears.

The facility, which is replacing the old Art Dague Pool, will boast a new six-lane lap pool, zero-entry pool with a play structure, and a flow channel.

Tom Whitmore, Rifle Parks and Recreation Director, announced Friday that they are asking the community for ideas of what to name the new facility.

“We are just seeking ideas from people, looking for suggestions, and the council will make the final decision on what they think is a good idea for a name for the new pool,” Whitmore said.

Tom Whitmore, Rifle Parks and Recreation Director, walks through the zero-depth pool as he checks in on the progress of the new pool Tuesday. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

Upon recommendation from the Parks and Recreation advisory board, Rifle City Council recently passed a resolution saying city facilities will not be named after people.

“The basis of that, is really there are so many people that contribute to a project, whether it’s a pool or building, that it is really hard to single one out,” Mayor Barb Clifton said. “Generally it’s a group effort, and that’s where we came up with the naming policy.”

Both Whitmore and Clifton said the people who helped bring the pool to life and supported the pool over the 50 years of its existence would be recognized.

“In terms of the pool we are certainly going to recognize the Metro Pool District, Art Dague, and all the people that were involved when the pool started and the remodel with plaques on the walls as you walk in,” Clifton said. “Now we are trying to decide what to name the pool; it’s kind of exciting.”

A crew with FCI Construction works on the bathhouse Tuesday in Rifle. The old bathhuse is being renovated and added onto for the new pool faciltiy. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

Residents have 30 days to voice their ideas with the submission deadline for input in the naming of the pool must be emailed to Whitmore, at by March 6.

According to a news release, the subject line of the email must start with “Pool Name:” followed by the suggested name. The body of the email must include the name, address, and phone number of the person submitting the suggestion.

Rifle City Council will make the final determination on the name of the pool.   

With less than 30 days until the deadline the council is still deciding whether to hold a special meeting or wait for the second council meeting in March to decide the name for the facility.

“We thought the naming of the pool is important enough that we wanted to get input from the citizens on what they thought,” Clifton said.

Construction on schedule

Whitmore said crews were able to complete the Shotcrete process, in which concrete is sprayed through a hose on the sidewalls of the pool, finished before the heavy snows hit the area last week.

“We kind of had the good fortune that we got that done when we did, because it is a crux of the project and needed to get done before anything else can advance,” Whitmore said.

Construction workers install rebar for the family whirpool next to the bathhouse. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

“It’s been going well, I don’t want to jinx it, we still have a lot of work to do, but crews have worked really hard and been very diligent to proceed regardless of weather.”

With plastic tents to help control the temperature, construction workers were able to get more done during winter weather that has hit western Garfield County in the last two months.

Whitmore is projecting they will still meet the target goal of the last week in May around Memorial Day to open the pool. The city has yet to set an exact date, as the project navigates through the rest of winter.

Crews are currently working on the interior of the bathhouse and thawing the ground around the pools to begin the backfill process.

With every nice day, Whitmore said his anticipation grows for the opening, and as construction proceeds on time, the parks and recreation department should announce plans for various opening events as the date grows closer.

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