Saying Goodbye to Century-Old Pool

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CARBONDALE -- A swimming pool more than a century old will soon be repurposed.

The pool in the basement of Carbondale's YMCA hasn't been used for several years and there are now plans to fill it in to make more space.

The basement floor of the Carbondale YMCA reveals its century-old past. The space is mostly used for storage, but there's a particular void that YMCA officials say has been empty for too long.

The facility's old pool, first used in 1914, was likely state-of-the-art in its day. But, the Y now has plans to fill it in and renovate much of the basement floor.

"Seeing what we have now, and seeing what's here, it's two totally opposite ends of the spectrum. It's wild," said aquatics director Jeremy Popiel.

The old pool has been out of commission since 2010 when a new pool on the second level opened.

Charlie Vadella is an avid swimmer and remembers the old pool well. His feelings are not sentimental. He's looking forward to the renovation.

"Sure, why waste it?" he asked. "It's been there since 1914, right?"

The renovations downstairs would make room for more children's programs, even the potential for leased tenants, but the biggest part of the project would be to expand the kitchen.

"For the children that we serve meals to, we've just outgrown it, and we decided that we needed to expand because our programs are expanding. Our early learning programs are expanding, and if we want to provide nutrition and healthy lunches and snacks, then we need to improve our kitchen," said child care director Mary Pantzar.

The YMCA has the money for the demolition phase that will start in a few weeks. Officials are still looking for grants to pay for the renovations. They think it will cost about $350,000.

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