KINGWOOD — The Kingwood Pool opened Monday morning with a ribbon-cutting and praise for the hard work and dedication it took to get the facility back.
A variety of problems led to its closing in 2013. The reopening was kick-started last year, when March-Westin and other area companies removed the roof that was one of the problems.
“It’s exciting. I believe the public is excited it is opening,” Councilwoman Michelle Whetsell said. “It’s been a long road for the staff. They have worked long hours to bring us to this. I saw the progress in phases. It was five years in the making.”
Susan Knotts, branch coordinator at BB&T in Kingwood, said the Preston County office of BB&T used the pool as its Lighthouse Project this year. Lighthouse Projects are chosen by the needs of the communities where the bank is located. Once a nonprofit organization is chosen, BB&T provides funding and time away from the office for associates to support the project in a hands-on fashion.
“It’s called sweat equity,” Knotts said. “We donated time and money to the project. We painted, power washed and raked.”
City Clerk Mary Howell said she believes the pool will be a great re-addition to the community. She said the reopening brought back memories.
“My mom worked at the hospital when I was young. Our neighbor would bring us over to the pool and when mom got off work she would take us home. I grew up at the pool.”
Devra Deem, grant coordinator for the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission, said she too had good memories about the pool.
“My kids used to swim here. Now other kids will be able to. It’s a great project,” she said.
Kingwood Parks and Recreation Supervisor Kevin Stiles said he and his crew began working on the pool Feb. 12.
“We set an opening date for around the time school was out and we wanted to meet that date. I had a good crew to help. There are a few odds and ends still to do, but we are open,” he said.
Kingwood Mayor Jean Manuel Guillot said Kingwood Parks and Recreation thanked March-Westin, Mountaineer Contractors, BB&T Bank, Paramount Painting, Child’s Feed, The Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department, The Kingwood Pool Committee and the City of Kingwood for making the reopening a reality. Guillot said all these groups donated time, money and products to “fulfill a dream that has been years in the making.”
He also thanked Prodigi, which will be providing free wi-fi for the pool.
The pool will be open noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Lap swimming will be 11 a.m.-noon Monday-Saturday and 5-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Night swimming will be 7-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
Private pool parties can be scheduled by calling 304-329-1256 or 304-329-0856. Swimming lessons and family passes are also available.