Though Cravens Pool is nearing the next step in the renovation process, the facility will be closed for the third summer in a row. Parks and Recreation Director Amanda Rogers said her office is almost finished with the renovation bid proposal they will present to the public.
Since the department already has the funding approved, the next step would be to receive bids from contractors until early August.
The necessary renovations include bringing the pool back up to code by fixing the lining among other needs. Plans also include additions requested during the public response research by the Parks Department.
Rogers said public response was necessary for formality reasons, but it was also a crucial step because the pool’s impact would be primarily on the neighborhood around it. Rogers said most people utilizing the pool come from the immediate surrounding area instead of cross-town traffic.
“Some people will travel across town for that location, but it really serves that area of the community that is in walking distance or a short drive,” she said.
The pool was initially closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it came to open in 2021, Rogers said that’s when the issues were found that have forced the pool to remain shut down.
The ability to even start the renovation process this year surprised Rogers, as she thought the funding would not be approved until the next fiscal cycle.
The City Commission passed a budget amendment in a recent meeting and with that, the plan for the Parks Department is to start soon.
“The money was moved into our account and we will get things rolling and moving, and [we have] the intent and the desire to have things open next year,” Rogers said.
Rogers said she has a special attachment to the facility because when she started working in the Parks Department she served as a lifeguard for the pools across town. With that experience, she understands the importance of the pool to the neighborhood it serves.
“I’m ready to get that amenity open for those young people that can’t get to the other side of town so that they’ll have that available to them again,” Rogers said.