More than 50 years ago the Parke County community came together to create a plan for children to swim in a safe environment. At the time, there were several drowning incidents involving children swimming in creeks, streams and ponds. Our community took it upon themselves to create a safe swimming environment by constructing the Beechwood Park pool. Labor supervisors Edward Gould, Robert Newsom, Edward Mann, Dick Smith Jr., Charles McCullough and approximately 40 volunteers donated their time to construct this project at night and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The pool’s cost estimate, built the “normal way” would have cost approximately $120,000. Only $25,530 was needed to be raised by the public and $134.25 was spent on labor. This difference between the estimated cost of a pool this size and the actual amount needed to construct the pool was represented by volunteer labor and supervision, donated equipment and materials. The pool officially opened on August 19, 1958.
56 years later the Parke County community faces a similar situation. A large group of Parke County youth are living in an “at risk” environment, and the presence of a community pool, which was closed one summer, is vital in maintaining a safe, fun and meaningful childhood for hundreds of Parke County youth.
Several efforts have taken place to repair and enhance the original pool; the walls and floor were re-poured in 2007, the baby pool was converted to a splash pool in 2009, complete with its own new filtering system. However, the 56 year-old filtering system of the Olympic pool, including pumps, lines, drains and skimmers are were worn out as well as not meeting code.