Tidbits from Then and Now
Rutland Herald July 26, 1977
Submitted by Mickey Kelly and Fred Remington
Swimming Pool History
While the city is asking for bids for demolition of the historic city swimming pool on North Main St. there is no guarantee that it will be razed until the aldermen find out how much its demolition will cost. As swimming pools go its an ancient landmark, nearing the half century mark which is practically in the bicentennial category for such recreational facilities.
Perhaps because of its age more then anything else, there is sentiment support for putting it back in operating condition again because of so many Rutlanders who spent so many happy hours there.
Located as it is on the main traffic artery passing through Rutland, the pool served the city very well as a pleasing advertisement for the city`s pionerring municipal recreation program. Especially during its early years of operation, it was sufficiently unusual in design and concept to attract widespread public attention from visitors to the city and local residents.
If it served that desirable effect purpose in bygone years while it was in operating condition during the summer months, it must be conceded that it hardly preforms that function now that it has been abandoned and has become an unoccupied pile of brick and concrete. Closed since 1974, it is no longer a good ad for a progressive city.
Those accustomed to today`s construction costs may wonder how it was possible to construct a pool of such design for $33,000. Actually only $25,000 was originally appropriated to build the pool . While it was a " Bintz Type Pool", the actual work was done by city forces. ( The electrical work was done under the supervision of Fire Chief Koltomski )
When it became apparent that $25,00 would not be sufficient to complete the pool, a $5,000 contribution was made in memory of former Governor and Mayor Percival Clements and Mayor Perkins made up the $2,931 balance out of his own pocket.
But today modernizers should not get their hopes up too high. Previous efforts have been made to do something about the,(recreational dinosaur) but aldermen have balked at the cost of tearing down.
The old pool was closed down in 1974, when it was learned it was in need of costly repairs. The concrete pools wall could collapse. There was also a problem with its waste water being discharged into Tenney Brook.
The pool was built by the Wesley Bintz Co. of Lansing,Mich, its design was innovative enough for the Bintz Co. to have it patented.
The deep end of the pool was nine feet deep with a diving tower above it. There was a sliding board at the shallow end.
The lockers and shower and toilet areas were located beneath the deck of the pool in an enclosed space that had the pools walls as one of its sides. In later days officials became concerned that the sides might collapse and fill the locker room with water.
A few years ago it was estimated that it would cost $5,000 to take down but Mayor Gilbert Godnick this week said it would be much more today. He is firmly convinced that rnovation of the old pool is not the answer.
Offering what could be a eulogy for the 250,000 gallon pool. Godnick said "it`s like anything else, it wore out after awhile."
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