Local Historic Pool Faces Funding Challenges

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"This is a priority for us," Lansing Parks and Recreation Director Brett Kaschinske said. "We're committed to this pool, it's just a matter of being able to raise funds, help allocate funds."

It was a perfect day to sit by the pool on Wednesday, but one local pool might not be around for future generations to enjoy.

The Moores Park pool already delayed its opening day after the filter system broke earlier this summer. It needed to be replaced right away, or else the pool would have to shut down for the summer.

The filter system is expensive though, especially since the pool is over 90 years old. Nearby Board of Water and Light stepped in to help pay for it, and now the whole community is coming together to make sure this pool stays open for another hundred years.

"Growing up, it was very nice to come down here and learn to swim, it's actually the pool I kinda did learned to swim in," 18-year-old Noah Johns said.

It's the pool generations have learned to swim in, since 1923, when former Lansing city engineer Wesley Bintz created the one-of-a-kind above-ground design.

"The Moores Park pool was called the Bintz proto-type, it was the very first one," Michigan archivist Mark Harvey said. "All through the Depression, it was open. So, you think about the importance during the Depression years, that decade, of having a place where everybody can go and swim."

To this day, it remains just as important. But with its old age and unique architecture, comes costly maintenance challenges, making it tough to stay afloat.

"There's some concerns we have about accessibility and wanting to improve that, and wanting to improve the lockerrooms, and obviously, the mechanical part of the pool as well," Lansing Parks and Recreation Director Brett Kaschinske said.

They'd also love to add slides and other attractions for the kids. The pool hasn't gone through a major renovation since 1980, so the new filters were necessary, but expensive: $35,000. The cost of all the other improvements could be up to $750,000.

"This is a priority for us," Kaschinske said. "We're committed to this pool, it's just a matter of being able to raise funds, help allocate funds."

One way they're trying to do that is through a "gofundme" account, an online fundraising campaign website. So far they've raised $20, but the community hopes it will be a lot more.

"People are really attached to it, they really want to see the pool maintained, and there's been a real big active interest within our neighborhood to keep this pool open," Moores Park resident Mary Johns said.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero stopped by the pool to ask the community to pitch in as well.

"It's going to take a team effort to save this icon," Mayor Bernero said.

The pool passed all of its inspections for this season and is scheduled to open Friday.

It's free for all ages.

If you'd like to donate, visit the link below.


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