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Waynesboro tries to keep pool afloat

April 17, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Workers are diving into another season of cleaning and repairing Northside Park Pool, a job that gets more difficult each year.

Considered top-of-the-line when the in-ground public swimming pool was built in 1972 off of Brown Street, the 25-year-old `Z' formation 100-meter pool is past its prime. The main building, containing the front desk, men's and women's locker rooms, lifeguard station, and concession stand, is also showing its age.

"A lot of patching has been done over the past 20 years," said Waynesboro Councilman Vicki Huff, during a tour of the pool and surrounding grounds.

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Huff, who oversees youth concerns on the Waynesboro Council, said continued low attendance and the increasing cost of upkeep is barely keeping the pool afloat.

"Growing up, this place was always packed," Huff said. "It was well known in the junior high, senior high crowd. But they're not coming here anymore," she said.

Last year, pool admissions and miscellaneous receipts brought in nearly $50,000. But the borough still had to contribute $22,000 to make up for the shortfall to cover general operating costs, said Lloyd Hamberger, borough manager.

"Nothing comes cheap with the swimming pool," Hamberger said. "Nobody expects a profit, but you hope it will pay for itself."

Rather swim than sink, Huff initiated a grant application last spring that would pay for a feasibility study of the pool. If approved, officials from Recreation Planning Associates of Lancaster, Pa., will spend the season determining what the borough can do to generate more interest and more income from Northside Pool.

When the results are in this fall, the borough plans to apply for another grant that would help pay for the improvements that could begin in about two years.

The priority will be to resurface the pool and upgrade the filtration and chemical system. Ideally, Huff would like to see a computerized system installed.

The children's pool also needs a complete overhaul, including fixing the leaking drainage line and a new filtration system, Huff said.

Preliminary plans also call for making the swimming pool handicapped accessible by either building a lift or redesigning the pool to include a handicap ramp.

Indoor renovations include replacing the carpet, painting, and installing new showers in the locker rooms.

Huff also envisions a pavilion picnic area, a water slide and new children's playground. But none of the projects come cheap. The water slide alone costs about $100,000, Huff said.

Some improvements will be made this season, including taking out the old playground equipment and setting up picnic tables.

Even with the expected grant money, the borough will have to raise funds and call on residents for donations.

"We're going to have to have the community behind us," Huff said.

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