MIDDLEPORT — The Middleport Pool, a fixture of the village since the 1950’s. is now only a memory.
As equipment moved in to begin deconstruction of the facility, onlookers gathered at the top of the hill to look down at the pool below for a final time. For those who spent summers at the pool, it was sad to see its demolition.
Attendance began declining in the 1990’s and the village struggled to keep the pool open to the public. After being closed and reopened several times in the early 2000’s, it was last used in 2007.
In the years preceding its final closure, the structure had begun to succumb to age related issues. The concrete basin of the pool began crumbling from the years of contact with chlorinated water. Steal supporting the structure had also been affected. A new drain was needed to comply with updated pool codes.
According to Middleport building inspector Michael Hendrickson, contractors evaluated the pools viability. Their recommendation was to build a new pool if the Village wanted one for the community. The report stated there was no economical way to save the structure, if in fact if could be saved at all. Leaving the pool to further deteriorate brought with it other concerns.
“Rain water collecting in the deep end of the vacant pool created both health and safety issues,” Hendrickson said. “Standing water invites mosquito infestation that may bring with it diseases such as West Nile Virus. Also the possibly of drowning in in standing water is always a concern.”
While the pool was antiquated and deemed beyond repair, many in the area were still very sentimental about the structure. Attempts were made to save or re-purpose the pool. Due to structural concerns, the decision was made by residents of the Village who responded to a survey regarding the issue, in favor of demolition.
Bids were taken for demolition of the Middleport pool in July by the Meigs County Commissioners. The deconstruction and removal of the debris came at a cost of $23,979. The amount was paid for using part of a $300,000 grant received by the Village of Middleport for community renovation projects.
With demolition complete, the area where the pool once stood has been seeded with grass. A skate part will be build on a portion of the site using part of the renovation grant. The remainder of the area will be re-porposed at a later date as money is available. At that time the village will decide what would be most beneficial to the community in the location.
Growing up in the in the 50’s, it would have been difficult to imagine anything more fun than a public pool. But youth culture changes with each generation, and skate parks have become as popular a gathering place as pools once were. It would be impossible to accurately predict what the next new attraction will be 60 years from now, but it can be fun to guess. Perhaps it will be a community swimming pool!
If anyone has stories or photos they would like to share about the Middleport Pool, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions selected will be posted on our Facebook page!
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551