EATON — The City of Eaton will have a brand new pool next summer, after an anonymous donation of $1.8 million covers the cost of an 8,400 square foot facility featuring two slides, a zero-depth area, beach-like entry, an eight-lane competition pool, and a new “spraygound.”
According to Eaton City Manager Brad Collins, the generous donation came at the best possible time for the city and the some 14,000 people who visit its pool every year. He said the structure was nearing the end of its usable life.
Collins noted, the pool is 52 years old and the liner had begun to wrinkle and rip. He also said the concrete structure had begun to deteriorate and had started leaking. There were also issues with the filtration system.
Collins said there was good chance the pool would have been shut down if not for the “very generous donation” to the city. He said there was not enough capital monies to renovate the pool without the donation.
The pool issue has been an ongoing discussion, according to Collins, who said the city saw the pool as an important amenity to provide to residents of Eaton and the surrounding area.
The city and the Preble County YMCA plan to keep their partnership and day-to-day operation of the pool will not change.
According YMCA Director Josh Haynes, the new pool will require more lifeguards to be on staff, but he believes it will draw enough people in to offset any extra cost of having them.
Haynes also thinks the pool came at just the right time.
“It is something that has not been as appealing to the community as it has been in the past — part of that is the trends you see in outdoor aquatic recreation in other communities that are moving to more of an aquatic recreation center,” Haynes said. “That is what is so great about this, we are going to have a state-of-the-art outdoor aquatics center that I know is going to appeal more to the members of the community. It will serve a lot more than it has in the past, which is a great thing.”
According to Haynes, the pool will also be safer, as the recreational side will not go deeper than three and a half feet.
Haynes hopes the new pool will not only attract members of the Eaton community, but the surrounding communities within Preble County.
Once the pool opens in the spring of 2016, residents will have a tough time recognizing it, as the only current structure on the facility remaining will be the picnic shelter.
A brand new pool house and lifeguard station will feature showers, men, women and family restrooms, and a new concession area.
The new pool is around 2,000 square feet bigger than the old one, and Collins said as long as there are no delays in the construction the pool will be open in the spring of 2016.