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City, county investing in upgrades for 60+ year-old pool facilities

MORGANTOWN — At 68 and 63 years old, respectively, Monongalia County’s Camp Muffly pool and BOPARC’s Marilla Pool have seen more cannonballs than Gettysburg.

Now both are up for a little well-deserved R&R — repair and restoration.

Monongalia County Commissioner Jeff Arnett said the half-million-dollar pool project at Camp Muffly hit a minor permitting snag at the state level, but he remains hopeful swimmers will be in the water this summer.

“When we asked that question, they thought they could still save us some of the summer. Whether that’s a month or a couple weeks, we don’t know,” he said. “But that’s our hope. I can’t promise anything, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that they can make it happen.”

The commission approved a $497,440 contract with Pittsburgh-based Aqua Pool in January.

The county construction crew removed the old pool, which will be replaced with a sprayed concrete mixture known as shotcrete. The overhaul will extend to the decking area surrounding the pool as well as the addition of components to make the facilities handicapped-accessible.

Not included in the contract is the construction of a new shower house, which is also being built by the county’s construction crew.

Funding for the project is coming from the county’s portion of the recreation levy passed by voters in 2016 and renewed in 2020.

In 2019, the commission used a $25,000 grant from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust to commission design work from Alpha Associates.

While work at Camp Muffly is underway, the aquatic overhaul in Marilla Park is just ramping up.

Marilla Pool.

During its most recent regular session, BOPARC voted to enter into contract negotiations with Thrasher Group to lead the project.

BOPARC Director Melissa Wiles said the contract will be for design, research, development of construction documents, bid process, and overall project management.

She said the goal is to have the project ready to bid in the first part of 2022.

The upgrades will include any needed repairs to the pool itself as well as all auxiliary infrastructure and mechanical systems.

Wiles said any potential additions or upgrades beyond that will be a question of funding.

“That remains to be seen. It’ll be part of the study period and the concept design. We need to do all of that. We need to get public input and we’ll decide at that point what can be included budget-wise and what is needed,” she said, noting part of the public input component will come directly from pool goers this summer.

And part of the funding component may very well come from the city — but that remains to be seen.

“At this point it would be premature to speak in any detail about cost or financial assistance the city may be providing. The project is very early in the planning process,” Morgantown Communications Director Andrew Stacy said. “What I can say is that the city administration is working with BOPARC leadership to stay abreast of the project so they can identify ways the city can help.”

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