Plans to carry out a major refurbishment of the swimming pool in Clara reached a significant milestone this week.
The Board of Management that oversees the operation of this important leisure facility in the Midlands have announced that work will begin on October 20 with an expected completion in September 2015.
The pool will officially close its doors on Sunday, October 12 on a week-end that promises to be very entertaining with many events planned to celebrate this great news.
In October last year, the Deptartment of Tourism & Sports announced that a grant of €784,000 had been allocated to the project. Coupled with funding from the National Lottery and Offaly County Council, the overall project will cost in excess of €1.1 million and represents a significant investment for Clara and the surrounding areas. The planned work includes a complete revamp of the entire facility designed to make it more family friendly.
Commenting on the proposed refurbishment Billy O’Brien, Chairman of the Board of Management said, “our challenge now is to provide the local contribution towards the cost of the project.”
He explained that a major fund raising effort would be required to ensure that we have a first class swimming pool that will serve the local community for many years to come. He said that a number of fund raising events were planned over the next 12 months in order to meet the local contribution target of €50,000.
The swimming pool has been an integral part of life in Clara since 1971 and has provided a very valuable service for both local people and schools in the town. The pool is also used by other groups from the wider area providing swimming lessons, water safety courses and water volleyball and of course a great way to spend an afternoon or evening with the family.
Its development and sustainability has received a huge vote of confidence from the Government, Offaly County Council and other state agencies. .
Fund raising starts on Saturday, October 11 with the ‘Walk the Plank’ event in which local ‘celebrities and community notables’ will be at the mercy of the local population where the theme will definitely be wet, wet, wet. Depending on the chosen ‘victim’ people will be asked to donate amounts ranging from €5.
Later in the evening a pool volleyball event has been organised in which participants will take part in a ‘splash-athon’ starting at 7pm, entry fee €5. The highlight of the week-end however is ‘The Final Swim’ when on Sunday, October 12 people will have an opportunity for a final dip in Clara pool to mark the end of its 43 year service to the community.
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the fun and craic over the week-end while helping to kick start the challenging fund raising target of €50,000.
The Board of Management of Clara Swimming Pool desperately need the backing of everyone in the local area and right throughout the Midlands over the course of the next 12 months. For further information contact the Pool at 057-9330063, check out the pool Facebook page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.