Fieldale excited for reopening of community pools

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FIELDALE (WSLS 10) - The Henry County town of Fieldale is celebrating a win for the community, announcing the opening of its swimming pools this Labor Day.

The Fieldale Recreation Center and Pools closed two years ago because of lack of funds and maintenance issues.

"It was such a tragedy really to lose them," said Fieldale native Beatrice Bullard, who's also the president of Fieldale Heritage Incorporated.

After closing in 2014, the Fieldale community is excited for the pools reopen.

"It will be a wonderful place again," commented Raeburn French, the vice president of the Fieldale Rec Center and Pools.

"We're so excited," chimed longtime resident Glenda Scott. "We're thankful for all of the people who have donated and helped get it this far."

FHI, who bought the property from the county in 2015, initially projected renovations to cost $81,000. But, the non-profit did it with less. Using only $65,000, old water lines have been replaced and cracks in the pools fixed.

Now, the pool deck is expected to open a week from Saturday, just in time for Labor Day weekend. The pool is projected to remain open on the weekends throughout September if several life guard positions can be filled.

The official reopening of the pools is set for the spring 2017.

Something that is still needed is handicap wheelchair pools lifts.

Bullard, who use to take her family to community center, said this is not a complete picture, there's more work to be done.

"We have kind of a long road ahead of us because once the pools are up and running we have the building that right now is closed," said Bullard.

Right now, no trespassing signs hang in the windows of the old 1937 Fieldale Recreation Center and area leaders are working to make it once again the heart of this small community.

"We got to check our electrical, water and sewer system," said French. "Then our heating and cooling we know are going to require a lot of work and tens of thousands of dollars."

"Because with another big project right behind this one, sometimes people can't give what they want to," commented Bullard.

Yet, the group told us they have a responsibility to the community and need to try.

"We will not give up," said French.

If all goes as planned, renovations on the recreation center will start this winter in hopes to reopen in two years.

French added fundraising events will have to happen monthly to create a constant flow of money. Coming September 17, the Second Annual Street Dance will take place on the center's lawn. The money raised will go towards building renovations.