Pool project comes to an end as swim season begins

The new swimming pool in Conway Springs includes a zero-depth entry. The brand new pool will open to swimmers this weekend.

By Michelle Leidy-Franklin

CONWAY SPRINGS – Construction is complete on the new Conway Springs pool, and it will open to swimmers on May 29.
There has been a delay in the installation of the diving boards. Mayor Jessica Gerlach said they are expected to be in place by June 4, but will not hinder the pool opening on time.
The decision to replace the pool came after engineering reports determined that repairs on the original pool would have cost the city close to the same amount of money as a total replacement. Because repairs would not be a permanent solution and would need to be addressed again in a 5-10 year time span, the city decided a total replacement was the best way forward.
“The cost to repair would have cost nearly as much as the city portion of the project financing, and wouldn’t have qualified for any grants,” said Gerlach.
The City of Conway Springs utilized a community development block grant for the project, receiving $600,000 toward the total cost of nearly $1.5 million dollars. Private donors also contributed to the project, making a new bath house possible. The bath house was not covered under grant funding.
“We used to have an offsite chlorine house, which took guards away from the pool facility for maintenance. Now, everything is on site in the bathhouse,” said pool manager Heather Seidl. “The bathhouse was also a big component in partnering with the school.”
Seidl said the bath house was designed to be utilized by the Conway Springs High School tennis program as well. Bathrooms are accessible from the outside, and the concession area faces the tennis courts so that the school can utilize the space during meets and tournaments. Additionally, space inside the bath house can be used for coaches meetings.
“The next step will be to meet with the school and consider continued efforts to make that area cohesive and usable for as many entities as possible,” said Gerlach.
The Conway Springs City Council agreed on Tuesday night to offer free admission until the grand opening in early June.

Lifeguards work on training at the new Conway Springs Swimming Pool.