James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg Mayor Richard Sprankle’s remarks dedicating the VFW Memorial Community Pool in 1975 were all wet. Literally.
“At the close of the dedication ceremonies, Sprankle and new Park Commissioner Eugene Rosensteel were tossed into the new $250,000 Z-shaped pool, which has been named the ‘VFW Memorial Community Pool,’” the Frederick Post reported in 1975. The pool was named in honor of the VFW because the Emmitsburg VFW donated $40,000 to the project.

The Gettysburg Times reported that several hundred people turned out for the dedication. That first weekend the pool was open, the Frederick Post reported that it was filled to capacity, with 391 swimmers in the pool, and 49 kids in the wading area.

And every summer since then, area children and their families have been able to escape the heat of the summer in the cool waters of the community pool—except for this summer. In summer of 2017, there will be no local swimming pool. With the Emmitsburg Commissioners’ approval in February to build a new community pool, the timeline doesn’t work out for it to be open this summer.

The new pool is expected to cost around $369,500, which appears to be a bargain. The original pool cost $250,000, which is equivalent to about $1.1 million in today’s dollars. The town commissioners had initially only been planning on renovating the existing pool, but a pressure test of the plumbing showed that it needed to be replaced. Also, the beams beneath the pool were damaged and also need to be replaced.

“Once you got in there digging around, you saw where things were patched up for forty years,” Mayor Don Briggs said during an Emmitsburg town meeting.

The commissioners decided that it was worth the investment to rebuild the pool. It will be funded with the remainder of the money set aside for the renovations, money that is usually paid to a management company for the pool, and fund balances from other capital projects.

Last month, the commissioners started looking at the cost to put LED lights in the pool. They also considered a new diving board and a pool slide, but these two projects will have to wait until a future time.

The new pool is expected to be less expensive to run, primarily because water and chemicals won’t be leaking from the pool.

Makin’ Waves will be in charge of installing the new pool.

Although there will be no swimming pool this summer, the town will still be hosting three pool parties.

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