Pool reopens after 3-year shutdown

Published 3:06 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Middlesboro city pool is back open after a three-year hiatus

Mayor Rick Nelson said the pool closed in 2019 due to financial and structure issues. “We took a lot of heat,” said Nelson. “We understand that, but we felt that our finances were in poor shape, and sometimes you’ve got to choose necessities over luxuries.”

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the pool was unable to open. The next year, Nelson said a walk through of the pool revealed cracks, additional leaks and other structure problems. “We tried to get contractors to come in and fix it, but during that time you couldn’t get anybody to come at a reasonable time, so we had to close it then,” said Nelson.

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He said the process began earlier this year. Bill Voges, Kevin Barnett, Erin Cawood, “Cornbread” Gilbert and James Barnett were just a few names the mayor mentioned among those who played a big part in reopening the pool. They started with three lifeguards and officially ended with 20. “Bell-Whitley has helped us,” said Nelson. “They are paying half of our lifeguards through a program that they have.” Jade Robertson is this year’s pool manager. Nelson said that during the month of June the Middlesboro School System will be bringing lunches for everyone around 1 p.m. The pool received 100 percent from the Health Department.

The pool will be open for the months of June and July from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There is no cost to enter. Parents or guardians must be present for those ages 13 and under. Anyone wishing to host a party can contact City Hall for rates.