Published on May 28th, 2014 |0
New Garden Hills pool house opens in time for Memorial Day, swim season
Jeff Clark, who spearheaded the new pool house project and fundraising for it, told BuckheadView Tuesday night there is just “a small punch list
of items that need to be completed by the Macallan Group, the construction company on the design-to-build project.
The original goal for completion of the pool house was April 6, but Clark said he was happy that they were able to have it open for use by Memorial Day. “The snow storms just crushed us” in terms of construction,” he told BuckheadView.
Clark said this has been a real community project and this grand opening event will be an opportunity to open it up to the community without them having to belong or go to the pool.
“This is an opportunity to tour the facility and enjoy the stunning views of the pool and neighborhood from the upstairs deck without putting on your bathing suit,” Clark said. The attire for the event is resort casual, and, since wine and beer will be served, so no one under the age of 21 can attend.
The June 7 event is open to the public but requires advance registration and a donation of at least $25 per person to help complete the funding of the facility, which at the moment is $85,000 shy of being totally paid off. He said he hopes 300-400 will attend the event.
The Grand Opening Celebration is being sponsored by realtors Patty Webb and Cici Harris.
The new pool house project started in the fall of 2011 with a projected cost of $750,000. In the end, it cost $890,000 and the Garden Hills Pool
& Parks Association has raised $805,000 of that, Clark told BuckheadView.
Clark said the association borrowed the $85,000 on a short-term loan to pay all the bills involved with the construction of the facility and hopes
to have that paid off in a year from raising another $50,000 through a continuing campaign and dedicating the pool’s capital funds toward the loan.
The fund raising for the new pool house began in August of 2011 and over 400 community households contributed to the fund, Clark explained.
He said 50 percent of the money came from personal donations (65 people donated over $1,000), 5 percent from corporations, 20 percent from endowments and funds, 15 percent from community and civic associations and 10 percent from the city of Atlanta, which actually owns the pool and park.
Clark said there are three things he said most stand out about this pool house and getting here:
First, it needs to be a reflection of the city and the community. “We outsourced programming to an outside source, SWAP (Swim With A Purpose), which is also helping with providing swim lessons,” he explained. “They have offered to teach 120 kids a week in the city’s Camp Best Friends program (for disadvantaged youths) how to swim free.”
Second, this has united the community. “It has been a very unifying project,” he added.
Third, it is “a tribute to (Buckhead florist and Garden Hills resident) Dan Martin, who gave so much to improve Sunnybrook Park and Garden Hills,” Clark said.
“Thanks to some hard work from the Macallan Group and the Garden Hills Pool staff, the facility is looking good and ready for the 2014 swim season,” Clark stated. “It has been a fun year.”
Clark said the pool association is going to overstaff the pool during the open months to ensure that Garden Hills Pool does not suffer the same sort of tragedy that took place with the child drowning at the Ansley Park golf course pool earlier this spring.