NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Niles could be getting over $67,000 to renovate the public pool at Waddell Park, which closed in 2014 because it couldn’t afford to pay the lifeguards.
The pool, built in 1934, is getting closer to having a renovation worth $67,500 coming from the state.
Mark Holmes, the chief maintenance man, was out doing some cleaning around it on Wednesday.
“It just needs some interior work, some painting, some lighting, some restroom fixtures and roof work, and some concrete work out around the pool,” he said.
For 24 years up until its closing, he opened, closed and cleaned the pool. He can’t wait to do it again.
“I’m ready for it. It’s a pretty good time when the pool is open. We get good people over there, good crowds, and everybody likes it,” he said.
Maryhelen Hecker went to the pool almost every year before it closed.
“It was really nice to have a local pool. Not to have to drive far, and it was always clean and well-maintained,” she said.
When Hecker looks at the pool now, she says it’s lifeless and full of leaves and debris.
“It’s a total waste. A total waste of the people who lived here before us, tax dollars, who built the pool and now, not to have it.”
She is excited that this could change one day.
“I’m thrilled for the kids. It will be really nice for the families that don’t have a pool at home.”
Holmes says if the state does give the money for renovations, the city will still have to step in and create a budget to pay for lifeguards.
If it all goes according to plan, he says the pool could reopen in 2017.