Swimming pool improvements top Yoakum parks master plan

Sonny Long

Nov. 7, 2010 at 5:07 a.m.

YOAKUM - State approval of the master plan for Yoakum's parks has gone swimmingly, so to speak.

Improvements at the city's more than 50-year-old swimming pool are the plan's top priority.

Approval of the plan by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department opens the door for the city to apply for a $75,000 grant from the agency.

"We are not talking about a new pool," said Pat Kennedy, Yoakum economic/community development coordinator. "The pool itself is not the problem. The bathhouses are the main problem. Most of all, they need a roof."

While roof construction over the bathhouses is the main improvement being considered, plumbing improvements and concrete work around the pool area are also needed.

The swimming pool project will cost an estimated $150,000, according to the plan.

"We have financial commitments from the city and the economic development corporation, but we also need community support," Kennedy said, noting that a fundraising campaign similar to the one done for the city's Persian Square project is possible.

Donors would be recognized with their names displayed prominently at the facility. Some naming rights may also be available.

The city previously has repainted the facility, removed some unsightly bleachers and made upgrades in the water pump and filter systems.

In addition, plans are being considered to build a new clubhouse at the city's Municipal Golf Course. The new clubhouse would be constructed on available space next to the swimming pool.

Having the two functions so close will allow for a better utilization of city staff time, according to the master plan.

A new clubhouse will also include a meeting room for public functions.

Kennedy emphasized that while the plan's immediate primary focus is on swimming pool improvements, projects such as completion of the Front Street Railroad Park and the community exposition center continue to be high on the priority list.

In addition, Kennedy received word last week the city has been approved for a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority for improvements at the city's soccer fields. Plans include development of a series of lights for the facility.

The master plan was developed using data gathered from a community survey in conjunction with the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and Derrick Smith, director of community services.

The Yoakum Economic Development Corp. board of directors and Yoakum City Council also provided input into approval of the plan.



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