For more than 35 years the Broken Bow Swimming Pool has been a fixture in the community and surrounding area. Soon the pool that’s served the community for three decades will close its door for the final time.
In May 2010, residents voted 508 to 504 to approve a $3.25 million bond for the construction of a new pool and water park.
Jenna Smith, manager of the pool for five years, is happy to see the construction of the new pool because the current pool is old and hard to maintain.
“In my five years managing the pool I’ve seen a lot of money put into the pool. It just didn’t seem feasible to continue fixing the costly repairs to the pool when in the long run it’s cheaper to build a new facility,” Smith said. “One thing I’ve learned is to use duct tape.”
Even though the current pool will be closing soon, attendance has been strong.
“Our numbers have been strong throughout the summer. The past couple of summers there have been storms and obstacles that have caused the pool to close for various reasons,” Smith said. “This summer has been hotter and kids would rather spend the day at the pool than stay inside all day.”
Even though Smith has been managing the pool for the past five years she isn’t sad to see the pool replaced.
“Honestly, I won’t miss the pool at all. I know when I tell people this that they’re surprised, but if I was able to give you x-ray glasses and show you the various cracks, patches and wear on the pool I’m pretty sure anyone would agree with me,” she said.
When construction of the pool is complete Smith is confident the community will embrace it.
“The new park is going to be family-friendly. There’s going to be a water slide and most importantly there’s a zero-depth entrance will make it safer for children,” Smith said. “It’s going to be great for Broken Bow and the community.
Smith would like to credit Dan Anderson, Broken Bow parks superintendent, for everything he’s done to keep the current pool running and spearheading construction of the new pool.
“Dan’s been great. He’s done so many things behind the scenes that have kept us running,” she said. “Without Dan we wouldn’t have a pool.”
In case anyone wants to spend time at the pool before it closes, it’s going to be open for less than three weeks. Hours are Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The last day the pool will be open is August 20 and there will be free admission. The tentative opening date for the new pool is May 1, 2012.