Is this the last splash for the Green Street Pool?
Gainesville’s historic swimming pool will close for the season at 6 p.m. Sunday, and no one knows whether it will reopen next year.
"That decision hasn’t been made yet," said Julie Butler, spokeswoman for Gainesville Parks and Recreation. "It will be decided by our board of directors, and they have not discussed it yet."
Traditionally, the Green Street Pool closes on Labor Day. But this year, Butler said it is closing a week early because the new Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center opens Aug. 30.
The $16 million center will have two indoor pools, open year-round. Parks officials are debating whether it makes financial sense to keep operating the aging Green Street Pool.
But for this weekend at least, people will have one last chance to enjoy the outdoor pool. It’s open from 1 to 5 p.m. today and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Butler said Sunday will be just like any other day. "We don’t do anything special for the last day of the season," she said.
However, if this is indeed the swan song for the Green Street Pool, Butler said it will be given a proper send-off.
"We know that people have a sentimental attachment to this pool," she said. "So if it does turn out that this is the last season, we would address that (by holding a farewell event at some future date)."
The pool first opened on July 4, 1931, and just about everyone who grew up in Gainesville has cherished summer memories of splashing around in its water.
It was renovated in the early 1980s, but now needs as much as $500,000 in upgrades, according to Parks and Recreation director Melvin Cooper. With the city’s budget already strained, that money isn’t likely to be available anytime soon.
Green Street is the only outdoor municipal pool in Gainesville. A smaller facility, Fair Street Pool, closed in 2006.