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Pool set to open on July 4th

June 26, 1998|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - After three dry Fourth of July holidays, there will be some splishing and splashing in War Memorial Park Pool this Independence Day, Steve Catlett told the Berkeley County Commission Thursday.

Catlett, director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Board, said he was assured by contractors that the $1 million renovation and construction project to modernize the pool and bathhouse will be finished in time to open on the holiday.

Berkeley County sorely needs the second pool to ease crowds at Lambert Pool, where probably 500 to 600 people visited Wednesday, he said.

Despite many smaller renovation efforts over the years, the circa-1920s pool and bathhouse finally aged to the point where severe leakage, filtration and other problems forced their closing on Labor Day 1994, Catlett said in a later interview.

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After years of planning and securing financing - the City of Martinsburg and Berkeley County each pitched in $500,000 - the project got under way this winter, he said.

The original goal was to the have the pool open on the Fourth of July, Catlett said. However, the pace of the project made it look like it would be ready to open a few days earlier.

That would have been nice because huge crowds are anticipated at the reopening, he said.

Recent rainy weather changed that by considerably slowing the project's progress, Catlett said.

The revamped facility will have two pools - one competitive and the other therapeutic-recreational - he said.

There are plans for a second phase to enclose the pools and link them to the bathhouse, creating a year-round facility, Catlett said.

An effort to raise the $1 million needed for that project began earlier this year and about $200,000 has come in, he said.

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