Swimmers young and old can take advantage of the Adel pool this summer as it opens its doors for the last time.
The pool, first constructed in 1935 and one of the oldest operating pools in the state of Iowa, has been through its fair share of historical events including multiple wars as well as environmental, cultural and economic changes.
Initial construction of the pool was a community betterment project otherwise known as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project that was established during former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s reign from 1933-1945. During his time in office, Roosevelt implemented a series of cultural revival programs called the New Deal.
A work relief program was part of this revival, allowing WPA employees to build bridges, roads, public buildings, public parks and airports.
When the pool was completed, it was quite an attraction to residents including the fact that it had covered restrooms and a bathhouse, uncommon for the era.
Over the years, the pool has slowly deteriorated and most recently includes a cracked deck area, a pool shell that was showing signs of concrete failure, minimal pool features for patrons (lack of diving board and infant pool both due to code and safety issues), deteriorating gutters, loose guard rails chairs and general accessibility issues.
Due to those issues, a pool steering committee was formed and it was decided a new pool would be beneficial for Adel and surrounding residents.
"Our new layout is a lot better and can maximize space better," Parks and Recreation Director Nick Schencksaid. "There will be a splash pad, two, 30-foot water slides, a water walk, high dive and a low dive and lap pool. It will also have heated water."
The new 5-acre facility will also have seven lifeguards on duty at a time as well as two-three concession workers and front desk help.
Currently, the crews are assembling the slides and then will begin paving the parking lot. Schenck anticipates the aquatic center will open late June, early July for patrons.
"The last date given was June 28, but that was before the rain," he said. "Crews are working hard every day so now Mother Nature has to cooperate."
Although the old Adel pool is still functioning and open for the time being, Schenck said the new aquatic center will allow for more variety and will appeal to all ages.
"I think people will really enjoy the new pool," he said. "It will have more features and be accessible to everyone." The old Adel pool is scheduled to close in late June or early July upon the completion of the new Adel Aquatic Center. The new center is located on South 15th Street in the southwest corner of Adel.