Randolph retooling pool project
ELKINS — The Randolph County Commission approved a revised contract this week for creating a new county pool/splash pad project at the Elks Country Club.
The commission had applied for a U.S. Waters Grant to help with the funding for the project. That would have been a matching grant, which meant that the county would have to contribute the same amount of money it received for the project.
“We were looking at applying for a grant for $500,000 and the county was going to match that, making it a $1 million project to re-do the Elks pool and put in the splash pad,” said Commissioner David Kesling. “At the last minute when we were ready to file for the grant, we found out that the county would have to operate it in order to get the grant. And that’s something we’ve said all along that we didn’t want to do.”
Randolph County Commission President Mark Scott said the commission was told early on in the process of applying for the grant that the county not operating he facility would not be a problem.
“We explained to them what we were exactly going to do, which was that we were going to rehab it and let the Elks run the pool,” Kesling said. “But when it came down to it we ended up being told that we couldn’t apply for that grant, unless we ran the facility.”
With the U.S. Water Grant no longer feasible for the commission, they will take a different route in the construction of the project, the design work of which was awarded to El Robinson Engineering back in November.
“We are switching gears and we are going after other grants,” said Kesling. “We are still going to do the revision of the Elks pool, but we are going to do it in phases.”
Phase 1 of the project will be to renovate the pool. After that the commission will move on to Phase 2, which will be the construction of the splash pad.
“We can’t do all we want at once, so we are going to break it up,” Kesling said. “So the first thing is to get the Elks pool redone and get it opened back up.”
After learning that the grant would not be a part of the project, the commission reached out to El Robinson and renegotiated the contract with the engineering company.
“Renegotiating this contract was a significant savings,” Scott said. “It’s about $44,000 less from what we were initially looking at. The initial cast was about $120,000 and now it’s going to be $76,000.”
Kesling said he wants to start a fundraiser to help raise money for the project. He said he plans to put a fundraising committee together in the near future and that he is seeking volunteers to help.
“What I’d like to do is challenge 100 businesses in this county to give $1,000,” Kesling said. “That’s $100,000 right there and I have two businesses that would gladly be the first ones to step up and donate $1,000 each to start that off. It’s a worthwhile project that we desperately need for the kids to have somewhere to go in the summer time.”