The Athletic Park pool just sits there, paint peeling in the sun, wood rotting in the rain.
Nestled near the eastern base of the Eisenhower Bridge, which carries bustling Eighth Street across the White River, the 95-year-old pool awaits its fate.
Some, noting the historic value and beauty of the old pool, want to restore it to its previous luster. Others hold that it has suffered from vandalism and disuse, and that is has become obsolete. All lament the idea that the Athletic Park pool could one day become an eyesore.
The pool has been closed since 2007, and six years later it was added to a list of the state’s 10 most endangered landmarks.
In 2015, then-Mayor Kevin Smith proposed reclamation of the pool and development of the Athletic Park grounds as part of a $40 million plan to recast downtown Anderson.
Smith’s vision never became reality, and the pool still sits idly.
The current city administration, headed by Mayor Tom Broderick, says it’s time to say goodbye to a relic of Anderson’s heyday.
All that would be left of the beloved pool would be its facade or perhaps just a sign briefly recalling its history.
It’s been nearly a decade and a half since children splashed about in the historic pool, so it’s really time to make a decision one way or the other.
Perhaps the Broderick administration is right to look past the pool and focus on a new future for Athletic Park. The city’s plan has the potential to create recreational opportunities for Andersonians and to draw people to the city from across East Central Indiana.
It would include a splash pad, several playgrounds, walking trails, a rock climbing wall and a pavilion for concerts and other events. A central tower would rise as high as 40 feet, providing a pivot point for a zip line and affording a bird’s-eye view of the White River.
The historic old pool at the park would be sorely missed, but a new Athletic Park would help give the city a much-needed recreational boost.