Ambition and determination, when focused in a positive way and coupled with community support, can often overcome challenging obstacles.
That’s what members of the Mineral County Community Foundation are counting on to replace an outdated swimming pool in a spacious Superior public park.
The current public swimming pool, located in Eva Horning Park on the town’s southern border with Interstate 90, has been leaking thousands of gallons of water underground, a problem compounded dramatically by the costs associated with higher water use. Renovation costs to the pool and the adjoining pool house have shown to be an expensive and difficult endeavor.
The best solution according to the Foundation and many others involved, is to replace the pool, which dates back to the 1960s. A new pool facility for the park would cost, according to initial estimates, approximately $2.2 million.
“The town pool committee came to us and asked if we would sponsor the project,” said Foundation representative Liz Gupton. “We voted yes. Who else would help get this started?”
Preliminary plans submitted by Missoula In2itive Architecture, a Missoula-based company, outline construction of a 7-lane, full size pool, and an adjoining structure that would house the pool’s mechanical equipment, changing and
locker rooms for men, women and families and revamped parking along Pike Street on the southeast border of the park.
Earlier this month, the Foundation voted to issue a $10,000 grant from its general fund to help get the project moving. That was joined by a $5,000 grant from the Headwaters Foundation, a Missoula-based community support organization.
Those funds join the $50,000 raised by the Superior Pool in the Park Committee through a variety of fund-raising activities, including bingo and local fun runs.
The Town of Superior selected the proposed site on the park’s southeast corner.
Trish Donovan, a member of the Pool in the Park Committee said the space is something the community needs.
“Kids in Superior need a place to be active, to be able to run, play and swim,” Donovan said. She points with pride to the modern, well-equipped playground that was recently built on the park’s northeast corner. “This park gets a lot of use involving kids and adults.”
Acting as the fiduciary agent for the project, the Foundation will be assuming a more active role in the process of securing funding, according to Upton. “We will be writing grants and seeking more donations,” Upton said. “This is a good community with people who care.”
Upton and Donovan both agreed there could be cost-saving changes to the initial plans, including a six-lane pool instead of seven and getting volunteers and building donors involved in construction of the pool house facilities.
They note that a similar community pool project in Choteau eight years ago at a cost of $1.6 million was funded by sources similar to those be pursued by the Superior group.
People interested in helping can contact the Foundation via their Facebook page and can also contact any of the Pool in the Park Committee members.
In addition to Donovan, other members of the pool committee include Cheryl Crabb, Kaylee Richards, Jessica Schaak, Sheelia Miller and Tom McCloskey.
The Town of Superior will take over control of the pool when completed and be responsible for operation and maintenance of the facility.