Photo by Diane Cox
Work is already under way at the Bethalto pool, which will be closed for the 2016 summer season. Approximately $125,000 to $150,000 in repairs are needed to get the pool in usable condition.
BETHALTO — Village residents will have to drive a little farther to swim this summer as the Bethalto pool will remain closed for the 2016 season.
Built in the 1960s by the Rotary Club, the roughly 50-year-old structure at 325 E. Central St. needs major repairs. Maintenance and safety concerns are keeping the doors closed as new problems arose for the pool earlier this year.
“Our public works director informed the board in February that the pool was in need of major attention,” Mayor Alan Winslow said. “The decision to keep it closed for the 2016 season came down to an issue of maintenance and safety. The concrete around the pool is in upheaval and is a tripping hazard. We will replace the old plumbing when we sandblast the pool. We know there are some leaks that will need to be taken care of.”
The mayor said Bethalto is looking at a $125,000 to $150,000 investment to reopen the facility. That sum is in addition to improvements taking place through a Madison County park grant, including a splash pad that will replace the wading pool, a new perimeter fence, a new drain, electrical and recirculating systems. A wifi cafe also is in the mix to offer Internet access for patrons who want to lounge by the pool and use their handheld devices. The splash pad will provide 8 to 10 water elements with tunnels, shooting fountains and waterfalls.
“The Rotary Club has already contacted us and would like to be involved in the capital campaign efforts,” Winslow said. “I’m disappointed that our residents won’t have the pool to visit this summer, but next year we should have at least the new splash pad open, perhaps the pool as well. These needed upgrades came up too fast and we don’t have enough time to raise the money and get the work completed for this year.”
Anyone with questions can contact Bethalto pool manager Jeff Allsman through Village Hall at (618) 377-8051 or visit a Village Board meeting on the first Monday of the month. The pool’s Facebook page is at ht.ly/4mRK02; the phone number is (618) 377-9369.