After World War II and the Korean War, the community of Delhi, like all communities, was renewing family and community ties. They were again able to balance the lives with recreational activities that were a luxury during war times. It was in this time that a group of energetic and committed residents began to unite to build a community swimming pool. Through private donation of funds and in-kind services, the pool was built in 1952 and opened in 1953. It stayed in operation at the Sheldon Drive location for the next 50 years. It served an average of 125 swimmers a day and each summer instructors taught swimming lessons to upwards of 350 children and adults.
In the Fall of 2003, the pool was closed permanently due to mechanical problems. Immediately a group of community residents organized and held a meeting at the United Ministry church. More than 60 interested people came. The Mayor of the Village of Delhi challenged the group to build a pool. A committee evolved, had a feasibility study prepared with a $5000. allottment from the Village and prepared a multi-community survey. There was an impressive number of returns of the surveys indicating a 90% were interested in having a pool. The Pool Committee, under the direction of Bill Oles, one of the original fundraisers of the 1952 pool project, began to organize and plan how to make a community pool a reality. In 2004, using subcommittees and member's talents and expertise, the committee moved to find a suitable location for the pool, searched for a design engineer and conducted interviews for an experienced pool construction company.
Through a series of fundraisers and grant writing, the committee has raised $314,000 in donations and pledges. The NYS Health Department has reviewed the engineering construction plans for the pool and given their initial thumbs up.
Scott Clark of Clark Companies has agreed to be the general contractor and has donated $50,000 of in-kind services. The town of Delhi has written a letter of commitment to continue their previous contribution of approximately $21,000 toward annual maintenance and operation of the pool. In September, 2009, the committee with the help of Lori Paulson of the Delaware County Economic Development submitted a grant to the NYS Parks and Recreation Commission. We remain hopeful that this grant gains the signature of the governor within the year. Senator Bonacic was instrumental in securing $42,000 which helped pay for the design and engineering phases of the project. The Delhi Community Fund continues to confirm their pledge of $18,000 toward the construction of the pool. Several local businesses, service clubs and private individuals have been generously supporting and contributing to our goal of $894,000.
The WBRAC Committee continues to believe that history will repeat itself and that our area communities will have a swimming pool that provides the recreation and social hub that our residents deserve. It may take longer to raise the funds in these economically distressed times, but it will happen. The committee remains strong and committed to that goal.