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Pool renovations leave residents on the road

June 13, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The first blast of summer heat hit the Waynesboro area this week, but local residents don't have a swimming pool this year where they can while away the steamy afternoons.

Northside Pool, the borough's municipal pool, is closed for the season while it undergoes a major renovation. The project is expected to cost more than $1 million. Bids for the work will be opened next week by the Borough Council.

Waynesboro-area residents will have to drive to swim this summer. Their choices include the municipal pool in Chambersburg, Pa., the pool at Caledonia State Park in Fayetteville, Pa., and the lake at Greenbrier State Park in Washington County.

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Adding to the lack of a public swimming pool in the area this summer is the closing of Cowans Gap State Park near the Franklin and Fulton counties line. The popular park is also going through a major renovation. It won't reopen until next spring.

Managers at several area regional pools and state parks report that more people were visiting this week because of the 90-plus-degree temperatures that rolled into the area along with the closing of Cowans Gap and Northside Pool.

Thermometers in Waynesboro hit 93 degrees Tuesday, according to local weather observer Todd Toth. "I can't say that it's really unusual for this time of year. We usually get a short hot spell in June," Toth said. "It will be unusual if it stretches out for more than a week."

Temperatures in Waynesboro Wednesday topped out at 91.

Anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 visits to the Northside pool are recorded each summer, Waynesboro Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

The borough has to kick in from $15,000 to $20,000 a year to keep the pool running because it is not self-supporting, he said.

The pool at Caledonia State Park has been busy, said Park Manager Bruce McFate. "School's out and the weather is hot," he said.

Some Waynesboro-area residents used it this week, he said. "We expect more activity over the long haul this summer," he said.

An average year at the Caledonia pool records about 30,000 visits, he said.

The 75- by 185-foot pool was built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was rebuilt in 1996.

Chambersburg Municipal Pool on East McKinley Street serves from 1,300 to 1,400 swimmers a day, said pool manager Jean Robinson. She expects Waynesboro residents to be among them this summer.

Sgt. Angela Olah, area manager at Greenbrier State Park east of Hagerstown, said the park hired a lifeguard from Waynesboro to work in the park lake swimming area this summer. She, too, expects to see more activity this summer.

Alan Smith, associate director of the YMCA in Waynesboro, said the YMCA is seeing a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in its summer camp programs. Smith believes parents who used Northside Pool as a child-care facility during the summer are turning to the YMCA now that the pool is closed.

"We had to expand the programs," he said.

Moss Spring Pool in Greencastle, Pa., is a private facility.

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