On Centre: Bald Eagle Area | Mountaintop pool renovation leaps forward

September 25, 2013 

File this under the better-late-than-never category.

Workers with State College-based HRI Inc. recently poured the first batch of concrete for the Mountaintop Area Pool’s new deck, a long-awaited step in the Snow Shoe pool’s ongoing renovation.

Construction delays, mostly from a rainy spring, held up the deck and prevented the pool from opening this summer. When another contractor’s work on the pool’s interior stretched longer than expected, HRI, which was donating its labor, found itself in its busy season and unable to squeeze the pool into its schedule.

But all that’s now water under the diving board. After applying an initial 60 yards of concrete, HRI has another 30 to 40 ready to finish the job this weekend and pave the way to a reopening next year.

“We should be open on time, hopefully with no problems whatsoever, thanks to (HRI),” said Bruce Houck, a Mountaintop Area Pool Association board member.

Two years ago, the pool closed in the face of dwindling volunteers and funds. Galvanized residents formed a new board, enlisted more help, carried out a successful fundraising campaign for needed repairs and brought the pool back for the 2012 season.

Once the deck is complete, the final hurdle will be repainting the pool’s interior next spring.

“The most important thing is we’re up to code and everything is safe, and hopefully it’s protected for another 40, 50 years,” said Tom Taylor, association president. “That was our main goal.”

With the pool open again, Taylor said, the association can turn its attention to other projects on its wish list, such as replacing the old oil heater, the top priority, or adding deck furniture.

“We intend to keep plugging away at it,” Taylor said. “It’s become a passion for all of us.”

To date, the association has raised about $150,000 — and sunk nearly all of it into the pool. Along the way, donated labor and materials have been crucial, saving the association thousands of dollars.

Among the gifts, local stone business owner Terry Parks gave tons of crushed rock to help fill in a 4-foot trench dug around the pool for new plumbing. David Tobias, a local machine shop owner, hauled away old concrete and other debris for free. The Hall’s IGA supermarket supplied food supplies for the association’s booth at the Snow Shoe carnival.

“It’s all about everybody working together,” Taylor said. “And everybody has certainly come together up here.”

He and other pool officials are counting on more of the same — especially after heavy rain last Saturday put a damper on the Snow Shoe Fall Festival. In the past the association did well selling fundraiser milkshakes, but a wet afternoon this year yielded only about $40.

Next up will be the annual Vera Bradley Bingo event at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Our Lady of the Snow Skating Rink in Snow Shoe.

“We’re going to hammer it all winter with the fundraisers,” Taylor said. “We’re not giving up. We’re going to do this.”

Advent encore

The Advent Historical Society is going for a repeat performance.

After a bake and yard sale last weekend, the society will hold another one Friday and Saturday to raise money for the historic Advent Church at 1303 Moose Run Road, about 3 miles northwest of Milesburg.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the first day and 9 a.m. to noon the second, the sale will offer baked goods, clothes, toys, books, kitchenware, and plants. Proceeds also will benefit a small local museum maintained by the society inside the church.

Both the church and the museum will be open for tours.

Chris Rosenblum writes a weekly column about news in the Upper and Lower Bald Eagle valleys. If you have news to share, email crosenbl@centredaily.com or call 231-4620.

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