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Culpeper Community Pool design surfaces, as joint project progresses

A design is surfacing for the first-ever public pool in Culpeper County.

Early, optimistic projections have the Culpeper Community Pool opening by Memorial Day 2024.

The Board of Supervisors Building & Grounds Committee honed in the aquatic recreation details of the project at its Jan. 10 meeting. The group selected option three—with a few modifications—of three preliminary pool designs presented by Parks & Recreation Director Andrew Hardy.

The estimated $5 million project next to the newly opened fieldhouse at the Culpeper County Sports Complex is a joint endeavor of town council and the board of supervisors.

The outdoor pool will operate daily Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The design preferred by the county committee at the recent meeting includes a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool connected to a zero-entry, or beach-entry, styled swimming pool with a sloped entry for ease of access.

This type of pool replaces bulky stairs and ladders creating a seamless transition between land and water, Hardy said. The proposed pool design also has a splash pad area, toddler pool, bathhouse, concessions, shelter area, umbrellas and outdoor furniture.

The parks and recreation director reported a very lively discussion at the committee level on how Culpeper County’s first public pool will look.

“It will serve the most people—keep it affordable and accessible,” Hardy said.

Culpeper County Sports Complex is becoming “a destination for recreation,” which will only be strengthened by the up-and-coming pool, he added.

“The goal with this project is to stay within what the town’s financial support, is the budget estimate provided to us initially,” Hardy said of the town’s $5 million construction cost contribution, from federal pandemic funds it received.

“It’s going to be very versatile, accommodate families, people lap swimming, and toddlers having some aquatic fun,” the parks and rec director said. “It should be very diverse.”

Hardy said the committee took the best components of three options presented to incorporate the final design. The community should be extremely happy with it since the design includes all interested parties, he said.

County Administrator John Egertson said the committee liked many features of Option 3 but asked for several significant modifications. Once those are prepared, along with a cost estimate, it will go to either the full Board of Supervisors on Feb. 7 or back to B&G Committee. It just depends on how soon the modifications can be prepared, Egertson said.

Annual operating expenses for the Culpeper Community Pool are estimated at around $200,000 with projected revenue from admission fees, rentals and concessions generating around $57,250, according to Hardy. The town and county will cost share to cover the seasonal operation.

Hardy hoped it will be built and open by next Memorial Day, May 27, 2024.

He referenced recent expedited completion of the fieldhouse, field lights and pickleball courts at Mountain Run Lake as examples of why the pool could conceivably open by next year. It’s really exciting and an aggressive timeline, Hardy said, “But if we got this opportunity to do so we want to be able to deliver.”

“This has been a desire of residents here for decades and through partnership with the town and county we are closer to being able to deliver on that amenity,” Hardy said.

The county will oversee operations and will contract with a pool management company for lifeguard staffing, winterization and chemical treatments.

Culpeper County Parks & Rec will hire part-time workers to run concessions, front desk and provide custodial services, according to Hardy, estimating a part-time staff of 12-15 people to run the pool.

“Our team is ready for the next step,” Hardy said. “We are here to provide service and opportunities for the residents and with the support we have gotten from the community and the board makes delivering on these projects a whole lot easier.”

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