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BOPARC signs off on relocation of Marilla Pool

MORGANTOWN — While the final design remains fluid, the general concept and location of Marilla Park’s new pool complex appear to be set.

During a recent meeting of Morgantown’s Board of Parks and Recreation, the body signed off on the initial design presented by Thrasher Group, which will move the pool to land currently occupied by a baseball/softball diamond in upper Marilla Park.

The board also said it supports Thrasher’s general design concept, which includes multiple pool areas and an assortment of features, including slides, splash pad, a lazy river and others.

BOPARC Executive Director Melissa Wiles said the makeup and configuration of the final design will ultimately be determined by public input, internal input and cost.

She said this initial approval from the board was needed in order to move forward with schematic designs and bid documents for the project, currently estimated between $7 million and $9 million.

It was previously explained that even if the pool was left in its current location, it would require a complete reconstruction from the soil up due to its more than 60 years in operation.

The Marilla Pool complex is one of two, along with a complete overhaul of the Morgantown Ice Arena, for which BOPARC intends to leverage the dedicated revenue it receives through the city’s sales tax in order to issue construction bonds.

BOPARC receives a quarter of the sales tax proceeds, which the city anticipates to be about $8.8 million in the coming 2022-23 fiscal year.

Wiles told The Dominion Post the relocation of the pool to upper Marilla Park could be the first domino in a reconfiguration of the entire recreational area, noting significant upgrades to Marilla’s skate park are also in the developmental stages.

“That [skate] project would be a part of the vision for lower Marilla.  We’ve had public input sessions specifically related to the possibility of the skate park component being located at or near where the pool currently resides,” Wiles explained.

“We also obviously have upgrades that are needed for tennis courts, trail heads and athletic field areas.  So, we have a feeling that some components might benefit from location rearrangement, but right now it is too early to say which components or how.”

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