Parks director says pool project on schedule for June 15
For Lewistown Parks and Recreation Director Jim Daniels, seeing the newly rehabilitated City Pool come to life is almost indescribable.
On Thursday, as he walked around the site of the pool – set to open June 15 – he couldn’t help but stop and admire what was before him.
“This is a dream come true,” Daniels said. “Ten years in the making.”
The new Lewistown City Pool isn’t just a new and improved version of the old pool, Daniels added. What is happening at Frank Day Park right now is much more than that.
“I don’t think people realize what kind of facility this is going to be,” Daniels said. “This isn’t just a backyard pool by any stretch.”
The pool is deeper, smoother, more defined and it now has bigger, top-of-the-line slides and a splash park with eight features. Also, the bathhouse has been renovated and has new showers and changing rooms. A new utility shed was also built on the site.
“This will be an attraction,” Daniels said. “I think everyone’s chomping at the bit to get in it.”
That being the case, Daniels said James Talcott Construction of Great Falls has done an excellent job getting the pool ready for its looming deadline.
“The goal all along has been putting people in the pool by mid-June,” Daniels said, “and Talcott has done an great job getting things done as quickly as possible.”
There is still a lot to be done, Talcott Construction foreman Ron Brewer said, but they’ll get there.
“It’s gonna be a big push,” he said. “The neighbors might complain. We’ll be at it early, and we’ll be at it all day.”
According to Brewer and crewmembers, Talcott still has to lay approximately 170 yards of concrete to complete the pool area, decks and all. Then they have to pour the sidewalks and lay some sod. As of press time, the liner had not been installed yet, but the crew to assemble it was set to arrive Friday.
Daniels said he believes the pool itself will be ready for swimming June 15, but the slides and the water park may not be ready to go until at least June 17.
“It will be quite the outdoor recreation facility,” Daniels said.
Community unites for the cause
Daniels’ dream come true would not have been possible without the help of the Friends of the Pool, who put together a monumental fundraising campaign. The “S.O.S.” (Save Our Swimming) Capital Campaign movement raised $1.33 million in a grassroots effort to bring the community together and give the pool the makeover it needed to meet state standards.
“Without the whole community, without all of Central Montana working together, this would not have happened,” Daniels said. “The whole area came together to get this done. It wasn’t just one person.”
To celebrate the Friends, a commemorative display of the names was made by the entrance of the “Lewistown Aquatic Complex,” giving credit to the high donors.
Daniels also gives credit to the City of Lewistown and Fergus County working together to establish the Recreation District, which also helped significantly in raising the $3 million it took to make this possible.