Pool remodel moving along swimmingly
“Swim season” is still officially a few weeks away, but backers of Hammond Hills Suburban Club’s pool facilities already are in celebration mode this week, approaching completion of a months-long effort to repair and improve their home turf.
Plans are in place for an open house, set for Sunday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The grand opening of the pool is set for May 18 at 10 a.m.
“This project actually has been going on for numerous years, with boards saving up additional funds to help support the financial end of the pool,” said Sandy Zeller, one of the club’s board members on hand for a Saturday “work day.”
Enough money for a substantial down payment was in hand two years ago, so research began, leading to help from Queensborough Bank and Pete Alewine Pool and Spa.
A huge factor, Zeller noted, was the Burkhalter family’s donation of the club’s land 13 acres in all. “Without the help of the Burkhalter family, this would not have been possible,” she said.
“They donated this land to us, and so once we actually owned the property, then we proceeded with the loan and the improvements ... The land was ours (already), as long as we used it for a pool,” said Laura Lusk, the board’s president.
Improvements include an expanded set-up from four lanes to six a major step forward in terms of playing host to swim meets, according to Debbie Conley, also a board member. “Before the six lanes, it was one of the only remaining four-lane pools in this area,” she said. “Most of them had been enlarged.”
Two new slides are now in place (including a “curly” model), and new pumps also are part of the mix. “Before, the other pool would actually lose water because of the pump system, and so we were constantly adding water to the pool,” Conley noted.
Work began in January and was mostly completed last week, with some final landscaping touches among the only things left to be completed.
Changes were necessary “to help us remain active in the CSRA Swim League,” Conley noted. “We received pressure, over the last few years, to have a larger pool, because of the size of the teams that swim there. Also, because of the age of the pool, it was in dire need of re-plastering, and so we undertook the extra effort to enlarge it by two lanes. And to make a pool that will hopefully fill the needs of North Augustans for the next ... 40 years.”
A lift to accommodate wheelchair users and similarly handicapped visitors is also part of the new arrangement.
Lusk added, “The slide was an important part. When we rebuilt the pool, we knew we had to keep the slide, because the original slides were a joy to both kids and adults, and we know that the new vortex slide, or curly slide, they’re going to love just as much, so that was an important part, to keep the interest of the community here.”
Major players in the renovation process have included Buford Beavers, Jeff Partl, Kevin Hendrick, Kenneth Grier and Brad Pond. “Those were members that volunteered their time over the last two years to make sure that happened,” Zeller said.
She noted that members and non-members are alike at the open house. Membership is limited to 250 families. For more information, visit www.hammondhillpool.com or call 803-278-2784.