published Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Georgia: Pool house on track for May opening

by Beverly Carroll

When Fort Oglethorpe’s rebuilt city pool opens for its second season, city officials hope the new pool house will complete the package that lures a coveted state swim meet.

“We already draw a wide crowd of people from all over North Georgia, and even Tennessee,” City Councilman Louis Hamm said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it open and seeing if we can’t get some swim meets, hopefully the state meet.”

The two-story, $675,000 pool house is expected to be ready for a ribbon cutting in mid-May, Streets and Recreation Director Jeff Long said. It will be ready when the pool opens for the season on May 23.

He said the pool house complements the $878,000 pool that saw its first season last summer. The pool house features improved concession stands, restrooms, locker rooms and office and storage space, he said.

“We have two concession windows inside and one outside,” Mr. Long said, noting the outside window will serve patrons in other areas of Gilbert-Stephenson Park.

“We think it will be a big draw for people visiting the park to walk the trails or have picnics,” he said.

On Friday, workers were readying the site for landscaping, and the mason and plumber were taking care of last-minute items on the new pool house.

“I’m finishing off that block and brick on the building,” said Steve Davis, with Masonry and More of Chattanooga. “After that, I’m through.”

The new pool helps the bottom line, Mr. Long said.

“Year before last, we lost $25,000. Last year, we lost $2,500,” he said. “Our income came up around $20,000. Any time you come close to breaking even on a pool, you’re doing good.”

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