Not so many years ago, a small group of community members decided to pursue a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Grant for the Eads Swimming Pool. When the community found out about our plans, the response was overwhelming! Letters of support from businesses and individuals poured in. Pledges of matching in-kind donations and promises of help even at the busiest times of year were made. People who were part of building the pool originally shared their stories, photos, reasons why the swimming pool was built and their memories behind it.
An architect met with us, toured the pool, and drew preliminary blueprints. Two GOCO members were in contact with myself or Krissy Ray almost daily. However, Mr. Pete Koch, Mr. Bill Barlow and the late Mr. Alvin Seifkas were the only Town Board members who supported our efforts. Despite their unending support, work, and dedication, we were unable to access the town's budget or confirm the monies that would need to be used towards the pool's remodel. Our grant bid died a last minute, painful death; much like the pool is now.
While it is no secret that public pools are NOT money makers; they provide hours of fun, exercise, and entertainment, and draw consumers to our town. Swimming pools provide a service to the area; think of the number of children who have learned to swim here in Eads. No one will ever know the numbers of lives these lessons have saved. You could consider this a priceless gift our community has given hundreds of families.
While Town Crews have worked for years to keep our pool in running order, it seems it will now be a costly venture to continue to do so. While visiting at the Kiowa County Fair this year, Mr. Pete Koch said best- "Eads says we can't afford a pool, but can we really afford NOT to have one?" I am quite certain that those of us who care, and there are many, will agree. We can't afford to let our pool die.
This article has been edited to include a name originally omitted by the author.