New look for renovated pool house
The old Manila swimming pool that holds so many memories for area residents and former area residents is gone. It served its purpose and had a long life spanning almost a half century. Today it has been replaced with a water park/pool.
The pool house is still standing and has been renovated and is now serving as Manila Park Center. The two year project is still underway but the building has a glass front looking out on the tee-ball/coach pitch field.
Some of the material used in the renovation came from a parts store being torn down and the old terminal building.
The walls leading into the boys and girls shower rooms were moved back making room on one side for a kitchen area and restroom. On the other side of the room there is an office space and another restroom.
Darrell Birmingham, parks and recreation director, said the building can be used for multiple purposes. The building had gotten into bad repair and there was talk several years ago about turning it into a pavilion or even tearing it down.
Birmingham said the original concrete floor was painted and with a little paint and trim the building has been transformed into a very nice, useable facility.
The building was used during the high school softball tournament for coaches and team members.
"It was a good place for the girls to rest in between games." Birmingham said.
A kitchen area is under construction and Birmingham said they have even looked at possibly renting the building for family reunions or gatherings at the park giving people access to a place for their food.
"They can enjoy the park and have their meal inside the building," Birmingham said. "Also, if we have any senior citizens or handicapped people who can't stay outside, they could sit in the building and have a good view of the tee-ball field."
The building will also be used for sports sign-ups, coaches meetings, coaches hospitality room for tournaments, and a place for umpires to change clothes and sit between games.
"The building has really turned out nice and I think it will be very useful in years to come," Birmingham said. "I think it could seat 50 or 60 people."
Birmingham said he is proud of the work going on throughout the park.
"We have two young people working through the workforce and they painted the pavilions," he said. "We have replaced the wood ceilings in the pavilions built by the Lions Club."
This year the soccer fields will be on the east side of the swimming pool. There will be three fields and the games will be played on Saturday mornings.
"We are hoping to start the Saturday after Labor Day for the fall soccer season," Birmingham said. "Soccer signups will be each Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. through Aug. 11 here at the recreational building.
"The pool is doing well this year. It will be open through Labor Day if the attendance continues. There are private parties booked almost every night. The ball fields are really looking good."
The park has two basketball courts, tennis court, walking trail, and playground area.
"We have a lot of people who use our park," Birmingham said. "We are also hoping to get new grills in the picnic area. We have a lot of good things happening at the park for our citizens."