Alle-Kiski Valley swimming facilities open Saturday
When 13 Lower Allegheny Valley residents sat down in November 1965 to create a community attraction, they may not have expected it to still be a hub of summer fun 50 years later.
But that's exactly what Bouquet Park Pool in Springdale Township is a half-century after it opened.
The pool, which opens Saturday — along with most other Alle-Kiski Valley pools — will celebrate its golden anniversary with events all year, according Jim Marsili, the pool's president.
“We're going to have a big barbecue for all the members (today),” he said. “And, we're going to have movie nights and more barbecue dates through the summer.”
The pool, which has about 110 family memberships and another 24 single memberships, is named for British Gen. Henry Bouquet. Bouquet's army traveled through the Alle-Kiski Valley from Fort Pitt before defeating Native American forces at the battle of Bushy Run in 1763.
So what's the key to keeping to keeping a pool going for so long, despite the numerous options available to kids and parents alike these days?
“We have a really good base of membership that returns every year,” Marsili said.
Marsili said the members-only pool has actually added about 10 families to its rolls in the last few years.
“We also have a great board of 10 members who volunteer their time to make sure the pool is the best it can be. They've been working hard the last two months to get the pool open for the season — like they do every year.”
Bouquet isn't the only pool celebrating its longevity.
Sylvan recovered from tough season
Sylvan Pool in Harrison was flooded three times last summer.
The pool made improvements in the off-season to make sure that doesn't happen again, according to Dave Christopher, pool president.
“We're going to be open (today),” Christopher said about the pool, which has about 400 family memberships and 100 single memberships.
“Everything's freshened up and ready to go.”
That includes preventative measures to avoid a repeat of last summer's woes.
“We dug a 2-foot ditch around the perimeter of the property and erected Jersey barriers to divert the runoff from (the hill next to the pool) away.”
Christopher said pool officials won't know if the improvements work until the first significant rainfall comes.
“We just have to wait and see,” he said.
Those who like the pool water to be warm will want to visit the pool at the Belmont Complex in Kittanning.
The pool installed a new heater this year.
R.A. Monti is a writer for Tribune-Review