Withrow pool project nearing completion

Milton Harper with Baldwin & Shell removes security fencing from the Withrow Springs State Park pool last week.

Water began to fill the swimming pool at Withrow Springs State Park over the weekend after repairs passed a final inspection late last week.

The pool was about half-full as of Monday morning, according to park Director Earl Minton, who said it would be Wednesday or Thursday before the pool is completely full.

Minton said he still isn’t sure if the only public pool in Madison County will open for a couple of weeks before Labor Day, which is Sept. 2.

“We just don’t know yet. It’s really up to our guys at central office whether we open or not,” he said on Monday. “We just have to see how everything functions once we get it up and running.”

Part of the repairs at the pool included the installation of new pumps and other hardware.

“At some point in time, we’ll have to be inspected by the health inspector if we are going to open,” Minton said.

Asked if he thought the pool would be open next week, Minton said “that would just be a guess.”

Last Wednesday, Baldwin & Shell Construction of Little Rock was taking down security fence around its work area. The new wall had been painted and outside cleanup work was under way. A new portion of deck has been completed, as well.

A little work inside the pool remained.

Baldwin & Shell has worked since May to repair part of the pool, which was closed for the 2018 season. Problems were found in 2017, but the pool remained open the rest of that summer.

Project Manager Shad Roe last Friday said the company and representatives of the state did a final walk-through at the pool.

“They are happy with what they’ve got and they’re going to begin filling the pool,” Roe said.

The company and Arkansas State Parks agreed on a $487,210 project to replace block walls and part of the deck. Chief Planner Jordan Thomas said that around 100 linear feet of wall was to be replaced, along with about 1,000 square feet of deck.

Minton has said he still hopes to open the pool for a couple of weeks before having to close it on Labor Day. The park last month put a classified advertisement in The Record looking for lifeguards and seasonal maintenance.

Roe in May said the repairs had a completion date of Aug. 11, but that was moved to Aug. 20 when additional problems were found in the floor or interior of the pool. Baldwin & Shell fixed those additional problems, as well, he said.

“It’s gone really well,” Roe said last week. “The engineering firm the state had did a really good job with us and answering the questions that we ran across. The state folks were very responsive to any of our questions. All in all, it went really well.”

Roe said there were some minor things left to be done, which he said should be finished in the next week.

“Once we turn it over, they could fill the pool and get their final inspections for pool chemicals and all that kind of stuff and they could put it into service. That’s entirely up to them. That’s outside of our scope,” Roe said.

Roe stressed that Baldwin & Shell primarily finished 10 days ahead of the Aug. 20 completion date.

“We’ll be completely out of there within a week or so,” he said.

The pools at state parks in Arkansas are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Withrow Springs State Park is located just off Highway 23, 6 miles north of Huntsville.

Minton has said it takes about 36 hours to fill the pool at Withrow. He said the water can warm quickly with “a couple of warm days.”

The state this year had hoped to get repairs done in May or June, but getting bids and plans approved took longer than expected, Thomas said.

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