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War Memorial pool dedicated

August 07, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - As children prepared to splash in the water nearby, Berkeley County officials dedicated the new swimming pool at War Memorial Park in Martinsburg on Thursday.

About 300 people attended the dedication ceremony.

Martinsburg City Council and Berkeley County Commission representatives spoke of how they were able to put aside their differences to get the pool built.

County Commission President James C. Smith said that at times it was difficult obtaining funding for the project.

"Because we did that, we have this beautiful pool tonight," Smith said.

The park had a pool until 1995, when it was ordered closed by the county health department.

For the past three summers, the pool remained closed until funds could be obtained to build a new one, said Steve Catlett, director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Board.

"It seemed like the park was dead," Catlett said.

The city and county each provided $500,000 and the state chipped in the remainder to pay for the $1.12 million project, he said.

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"This park without the pool is like our bodies without our heart," Catlett said.

Now, the parks board is working to obtain another $1 million in private donations to pay for a structure to enclose the pool to make it accessible year round, he said.

The board has obtained $200,000 in donations for the project, he said.

"If we can raise another $1 million and enclose the pool, we'd have a facility second to none in West Virginia," said Dennis D. Barron, president of the parks and recreation board.

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