Parks Department recommends $600K renovation, repair to Cravens pool

January 12, 2022 | 12:10 am

Updated January 11, 2022 | 9:00 pm

Photo by Nathan Seaton

After five months of conducting public opinion and assessing costs, Director of Owensboro Parks and Recreation Amanda Rogers said Tuesday she recommends the city spend $600,000 for renovations and repairs for Cravens Pool.

Rogers appeared before the City Commission in August saying that Cravens Pool was in need of “significant repairs” totaling $383,000 just to get back up to code. The Parks Department later held a forum with community members seeking input.

A poll was then open for 20 days presenting a variety of options for the future of the pool including closure; repairing back to code; repairing back to code and adding amenities; or replacing with a different water facility altogether.

According to the responses, the best option was to repair the pool back to code and add additional amenities to the pool.

The total cost would be $600,000 for renovations and repairs.

“I can not in good faith stand and suggest or recommend that we close an outdoor amenity at the current time, but I would recommend that we do one of the more prudent options when looking at what we can do to keep that facility open and operating for the next several years,” Rogers said.

With the facility being almost 50 years old, Rogers said renovations will breathe a new life into the pool.

Some recommended amenities include water play features, and a shaded shelter area for families to sit under.

There are roughly 50 feet of additional room on the property that can be used to expand the pool lengthwise but not much room to make it wider.

Rogers believes that with the renovations, attendance — currently ranging from 5,050 to 6,800 people annually — will also increase .

Commissioner Bob Glenn cited the county’s Horse Fork Creek Park project as inspiration for how to renovate Cravens Pool. Rogers said the survey responses indicated that only offering a spray park was not in the desired interest of the community.

Rogers said that the renovations would increase the lifespan of the Cravens Pool by at least 10 years and is confident that it’ll be in use for 15 to 16 years before having to revisit it.

With the pool sitting on Owensboro Public Schools property, Rogers noted the school system said they want to be able to review any decisions made. Rogers said that when talking to OPS Superintendent Dr. Matthew Constant, the district had no interest in funding the pool project.

“They did express to us at that time that they had no interest in helping to fund that because they felt that the tax base and the revenues that they generated to operate the educational system aren’t there for public recreational use,” Rogers said.

January 12, 2022 | 12:10 am

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