Across social media, as temperatures rise and school days are coming to a close, Conway residents are asking what’s going on with the city’s Smith Jones Pool off U.S. 378.
“The pool will not be ready this year,” Conway City Administrator Adam Emrick said.
About a year and a half ago, there was a water main break under the deep end of the pool. The city scheduled a plumber to come out and fix it. The plan was to drain the pool and prepare it for the upcoming season.
The plumber was scheduled to arrive on a Friday but for one reason or another couldn’t make it, Emrick said, and then it sat over the weekend until Monday.
During those few days, the Conway area received a record-breaking amount of rain, which got under the pool and “popped it up out of the ground.”
What the city is working on doing, he said, is using the remainder of their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money to fix the pool. Conway used to partner with the county and Myrtle Beach to receive this type of funding, Emrick said, but they no longer do.
Because the grant money is federal money, there are a few hoops to jump through in order to move the project along, including getting an engineer to design the rehabilitation of the pool, and compiling an environmental history on the property.
City officials hope to also include a permanent splash pad along with the repair of the pool area.
Separately, the city also plans to have another pop-up splash pad similar to the ones done in 2019 sometime this summer.
Between the delays from previous COVID-19 closures and the time taken to do the proper federal requirements to use their grant money, the project took much more time than they thought it would.
“We never expected it to drag on this long,” Emrick said.
June Wood, assistant director of Conway Parks, Recreation and Tourism, said they are looking forward to getting the project running.
“We are excited to have the beginning stages of planning the rehabilitation project underway,” Wood said. “Our goal remains to return the facility back to operation as quickly as possible. We will continue to give updates on the progress of the project in council meetings as well.”