Opp’s new pool opening June 6

Published 1:10 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016


After years of discussion, the dream of a new pool in Opp has come to fruition.

A grand opening will be held on Monday at the Veterans Memorial Park.

Opp Mayor John Bartholomew said he vowed four years ago when he ran for mayor to ensure a new pool was built in Opp.

“It was something I thought needed to be done,” he said. “I learned the veterans pool was from the 1930s and I wanted to bring it back to honor our veterans and give back to our citizens something they could use during the summer.”

The first bid for the pool was astronomical.

In January 2014, the price hit $1.25 million.

“It was shocking to see that pool price,” Bartholomew said. “I knew that wasn’t feasible.”

So, the project was put on hold until last September.

“I started listening to everybody’s voices,” he said. “People wanted a swim meet pool. I found a pool company and we rebid it out with other specs. Blue Haven Pools came in with what we needed.”

The council approved a $244,876 bid for Blue Haven Pools and a $140,000 bid for Catrett Construction at its first September meeting.

The pool will have six lanes and will allow the city of Opp to offer competitive swimming to its youth.

“It will allow us to have swim meets here,” he said. “Other cities around us can come and have swim meets and stay in our hotels. I hope it will get more families to come in and move to Opp. I also hope it will allow for more scholarships for our children.”

Bartholomew said the AMVETS Post 23 has taken over the tribute to the veterans portion of the pool.

“They are planning to set up things such as helicopters, Jeeps and more,” he said. “That way our children can swim and look around and think of the sacrifices our military has made for freedom.”

Bartholomew said the facility has met his expectations.

“We have shower facilities and an open breeze area,” he said. “We are so excited. We have a splash area for children. This will allow families with smaller children to also enjoy our facilities.”

Bartholomew said there will be no cost on Monday to swim, but the cost will be $1 per day after that.

Additionally, the Hardin Street Pool will continue to be open.

The grand opening will be at 10 a.m., on Monday.