Off-season repairs needed at Jasper pool

Photos by Jacob Wiegand/The Herald
Madison Beck of Jasper, 11, prepared for her jump Wednesday at the Jasper Municipal Swimming Pool. It was the last day of summer break for students before schools resumed Thursday.

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

JASPER — The Jasper Municipal Swimming Pool again came up in the City of Jasper’s budget discussions this year.

At the 2018 budget hearing on Aug. 1, the parks department requested $23,000 for maintenance projects at the pool, including replacing the water slide stairs and recarpeting the area around the wading pool, both of which are planned for this fall and spring.

Leaky pipes beneath the pool were also discussed, as well as the eventual need to either repair the pipes or replace the pool.

“It comes up every year for the past seven or eight years,” Ken Buck, director of the parks department, said Wednesday.

Logan Wilbur of Louisville, 10, took his turn going down the slide Wednesday. Wilbur was in Jasper visiting his aunt and uncle.

Although there are no plans to replace the pool anytime soon, Buck said the department is aware that the aging facility will have to be dealt with, possibly as the department’s next major project.

The current facility was built in 1956 and has outlived the usual 30- to 50-year lifespan for outdoor pools.

Despite its age, however, the pool facility is in good shape, Buck said, and the leaking pipes aren’t a cause for concern.

“You always have a little leak,” Buck said. “All pools have that.”

The city looked at the possibility of replacing the pool in 2014 when it hired Evansville-based architectural firm Hafer Associates to conduct a study and come up with possible designs for a new aquatic center. At the time, the study found that residents wanted a pool that would attract visitors and new residents and serve as a viable alternative to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

Lexi Persohn of Schnellville, 5, traversed the water slide Wednesday at the Jasper Municipal Swimming Pool. Sunday is the final day the pool will be open for the season.

The study yielded four possible designs ranging from $4.1 to $6.7 million, depending on features included. All the options included a walk-in leisure pool, a wading pool, water slides, diving boards and lap lanes.

Around that time, however, the Parklands project came on the table, and the city and parks department decided to pursue that, placing the pool on the back-burner.

Now, the Parklands and other projects throughout the city are keeping a new pool from being funded. For now, the parks department will continue to maintain the current pool facility.

“Everything is functioning good,” Buck said. “(A new pool) is just something that’s going to be needed in the future. When that is, I don’t know.”




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