Making a big splash

Springbrook Pool is spiffed up for summer season

Photo with no caption
By Lance Coleman
Senior reporter
Blount Today

On Memorial Day weekend, Joe Huff wants everyone to come see his new house.

Huff, the director of Maryville Alcoa Blount County Parks and Recreation, said the new Springbrook pool house is almost ready for business.

Workers have been busy putting the final touches on the new facility. The old bathhouse was torn down after the 2006 season. The new structure is two buildings connected by a portico.

"They think in two weeks everything will be done," Huff said this week.

In addition to the new building, Parks and Rec also will replace the fencing around the pool. Fence work should begin in the next couple of weeks, Huff said.

There were some cost savings that were created along the way. "When we first came up with the concept, it had a metal roof and brick," he said.

With a shingle roof and block, Parks and Rec saved almost $30,000. There’s also an advantage to block that isn’t found in brick. "If somebody spray paints block, it’s easier to clean," Huff said.

In addition, having a shingle roof will make it more comfortable for those inside during hot weather. "A metal roof probably would have made it a lot hotter," he said.

Huff said that the new pool house is smaller than the former structure, but this is because there were some rooms in the old structure, like a basket room, that just weren’t used anymore and were wasted space.

Making the structure smaller has created something new for sunbathers. "It’s not as big, but now we’ve got more area for people to lie out near the pool," Huff said.

The dressing rooms for males and females also have lockers, something the former building didn’t have. There is also going to be a 10-foot-high lighted clock that can be seen from the road and from anywhere around the pool.

"Everyone is on a schedule," Huff said. "Hopefully, it will have some usefulness for the community."

Huff said that while the pool was built in the 1930s, the original Springbrook pool house was built in the 1940s. He said this facility will be different, but he hopes the public enjoys the design just as much. One aspect that makes it safer is the floors in the locker room areas have a sandpaper texture to prevent people from slipping and falling after coming out of the water. There are also large fans and windows placed high throughout the structure to create air flow on hot days.

"In the old bathhouse in the middle of the summer, it would be stifling," he said. It was hot,"

The concession area is more updated with new appliances, more counters and prep space and more cabinets. There is a maintenance area with a rolling garage door for easy access for equipment. The lifeguard area is also situated at an angle so that the guards inside can see every part of the pool area. There is also a locker area for them to store their personal belongings and to clean up.

The design also is meant to be attractive. "We’ll have a large sign as well as hanging banners," Huff said of the front entrance décor.

There is also better security lighting at the new building. In addition, the bridges that connect grassy areas for sunbathers to the pool deck also have been given attention.

"We redesigned and rebuilt the bridges," he said.

The facility is open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Prior to the pool opening each day, Blount County schools use the facility and individuals can rent it out for private parties after hours. "It stays busy," Huff said.

The first day the pool opens will be on May 25, the Friday before Memorial Day.

The next project Huff said he would like to see completed is replacing the liner. The pool holds about 950,000 gallons of water. It takes about three days to fill it, he said.

For information on booking the pool for private parties or to find out about special events at the pool, call 865-983-9244 or click on www.parksrec.com.

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