ANDERSON – For more than 75 years, the Athletic Park Pool allowed city residents the opportunity to beat the summer heat with a refreshing dip in the pool.
The city of Anderson is hoping to reopen the historic pool in time for the 2015 swimming season and is seeking funding assistance from a Minnesota foundation.
Built in 1925 at a cost of $59,000, the iconic structure was one of 130 built in America using a revolutionary design by Wesley Bintz, who patented the egg-shaped above-ground pool that placed the dressing rooms under the structure.
The Athletic Park Pool, located at East Eighth Street next to White River, was closed in 2007 after vandals removed all the copper tubing from the structure. Now, the cost to replace the electrical and plumbing in the structure has been estimated at $150,000.
In 2013, the pool was listed as one of Indiana’s most endangered Hoosier landmarks by the Indiana Landmarks preservation organization. The pool is again on the list for 2014.
Currently, Anderson only has a public pool at the Southside Sports Complex, 4500 S. Madison Ave., which is scheduled to open June 3.
Several years ago a group of citizens started raising money to restore the facility and there is currently $6,366 for that effort in a non-reverting fund, Anderson City Controller Jason Fenwick said.
Anderson is hosting a 5K run on May 31 to raise funds to restore Athletic Park Pool. The run, sponsored by the U.S. Army, will begin at 8:30 a.m. The start and finish line will be at the Anderson Town Center with the route winding to Athletic Park before heading back downtown.
Some of the proceeds from the $25 pre-registration and the $30 day-of-the-run fees will go towards, the pool project. People can register by calling 648-6009 or visiting the city of Anderson website.
As of Friday, 12 people had registered to participate in the event. Organizers hope to have 200 runners sign up and plan to market the event in the next two weeks.