Simple steps to “Pool Safely” and prevent accidents this summer
The Mountain Top Area Pool is celebrating a milestone — 50 years.
Opening in the summer of 1969, the pool has given back to the local community in more ways than one, Jenn Nastase, Mountain Top Area Pool Association president said. From noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 31, the pool association is hosting a party to celebrate the pool’s history and reflect on lessons learned while spending summers at the pool.
“While sitting on the edge of the three foot, with your feet in the baby pool or sitting in the lifeguard chair, the memories all come flowing back — like the water coming out of the end of a hose,” Nastase said. “Fifty years have gone by way too fast at the Snow Shoe swimming pool.”
With “just a handful left in the area,” Nastase said community pools should be a staple to every community member’s summer. Whether a person goes to the pool as a kid or as an adult, the benefits are endless.
Community pools, Nastase said, give kids the chance to interact with each other as well as engage in physical activity. The pool doesn’t just teach kids, Nastase said. The Mountain Top Area Pool employs eight teenagers, giving them a chance to get outside and hold a summer job.
For the past five years, Nastase said the Bald Eagle Area School District takes Mountain Top kids to the pool twice a week for six weeks. This year, the program extended to Howard and Wingate, granting kids free admission on those days.
“No phones, no bullying,” Nastase said. “Just kids interacting with kids.”
The pool’s operations are aided by the Snow Shoe Borough, the Burnside Township Lion’s Club, the Moose Lodge, Veterans of Foreign Wars and support from the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau. Without the help of the community, Nastase said the pool would not be what it is today.
In 2013, the pool underwent $130,000 of renovations that included a seam replacement, a new deck and the addition of a Baker drain that was installed in the pool.
Most recently, the Mountain Top Area Pool used a $2,000 Keystone Communities Grant to purchase an automated external defibrillator and additional first aid equipment to have on hand.
“We continue to work on future projects here at the pool (like) finishing the bathhouse project and take on new ones like our concession area,” Nastase said.
Community involvement with the pool is something Nastase hopes will last another 50 years, saying that its role is much bigger than offering a place to spend a hot summer day. Instead, it is a place that fosters lifelong learning and family memories.
“The Snow Shoe community and outlying area have made this pool last with numerous contributions where they’ve seen their families grow up, and their grandchildren now return,” Nastase said. “This is one of the last places where kids can come and be kids.”