*This story was featured in the Hastings Tribune on July 30, 2016.
GENEVA — With temperatures nearing the triple digits during the month of July, Geneva City Administrator Kyle Svec admits that the timing of the closing the city’s pool wasn’t ideal, but it was necessary in order to meet next year’s deadline for opening a new water park.
To meet the self-proposed Memorial Day 2017 deadline for the water park, demolition of the city pool, which is near completion, had to start when it did, Svec said.
He said that to beat the heat Geneva patrons had the option to utilize one of the three area pools within a 12-mile radius in Shickley, Fairmont and Exeter.
“One of the reasons we wanted to get started during July is because it’s the driest time of the year and that’s good for dirt work,” Svec said. “I feel very good about where we’re at because we haven’t had any rain.”
The city pool closed for the summer on July 10 and destruction of the existing pool and bathhouse started a week later.
Workers earlier this week were removing pieces of the pool and bathhouse, along with old fencing and concrete before the construction of the new park on the same site begins.
Svec expects dirt to be laid for the new park in the next few weeks.
“They’re moving along very well,” he said.
The city plans to salvage parts of the old park, including a couple smaller slides and a mushroom-shaped sprayer from the baby pool.
Those items will be available for purchase by the public.
A refrigerator and camera system from the old water park will be salvaged and used in the new water park.
Among the features of the new water park are one large slide, a family slide, a climbing wall overlooking the pool and one diving board. The park will also include a lily pad rope feature, a splash pad for children and more shade structures for parents. Wifi and an expanded menu of food will also added.
The park project gained traction in 2015, after community members voted in Geneva’s first mail-in election to support both the water park and a half-cent sales tax to cover the cost.
Following the 62 percent in-favor vote, the city began working with officials and completed a final design, before starting the demolition in mid-July.