Making a splash

Clinton receives matching funds for Jaycee Park waterworks

  • TDEC’s Anne Marshall holds “The Big Check” during last weeks presentation of a $500,000 grant to the City of Clinton. - Ken Leinart

  • A big check for a big project. Pictured during Wednesday’s grant check presentation are, from left, Clinton Parks and Recreation Director Jason Brown, Clinton Mayor Scott Burton, state Rep. John Ragan, TDEC’s Anne Marshall, Clinton City Manager Roger Houck, and Clinton City Councilman E.T. Stamey - Ken Leinart

Anne Marshall, special projects coordinator with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, has worked with the city of Clinton for so long …

Well, it’s been a while.

Marshall pointed that out last Wednesday during a ceremony for TDEC’s $500,000 grant to the city of Clinton for the revitalization of the Jaycee Park Pool.

Marshall said the project “is one of those projects that stand out. It will be a model for the state’s recreation plan.”

The revitalization will include a pool and splash pad, along with four pavilions.

Clinton City Manager Roger Houck and Clinton Parks and Recreation Director Jason Brown both noted that adding a splash pad to the facility was important.

“You look at the response to the splash pad at Lakefront. … It’s extremely popular,” Brown said.

The pool was closed last summer for two reasons — the pandemic and the need for repairs. The pool was losing thousands of gallons of water a day due to leaks in the plumbing and the liner.

After months of meetings and citizen input, the decision to refurbish with a smaller pool and a splash combo was reached.

Houck said the usage of the pool had dropped to about 60 visitors a day — down from its heyday when 200-300 people a day were using the facility.

In a press release issued by TDEC in June 2021 (when the grant was awarded), Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC, said, “We are happy to announce grants that will enhance the outdoor experience in communities across our state. We want Tennesseans to enjoy recreational activity, and we recognize local leaders need funding to make it happen. These grants help meet that need.”

“These grant dollars are much needed and appreciated,” Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said in the TDEC release. “The renovation, restoration and expansion of the Clinton pool compound will allow families to enjoy the outdoors, visit with their neighbors and stay healthy. This will be of great benefit to the entire community.”

The project in Clinton is to reconfigure and renovate the pool compound.

The current pool will be removed and replaced with a smaller Americans With Disabilities Act accessible pool and adjacent splashpad.

The existing bathhouse and entrance will be upgraded for ADA accessibility, the release said.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, state Rep. John Ragan praised the project and said the Clinton pool refurbishing and the acquisition of the TDEC grant are “an example of the cooperation between communities and the state.”

Details about the opening of the pool are still vague, as is how the facility will operate and the number of staff that will be needed.

One concept has been floated that using the pool won’t cost citizens anything — as opposed to a minimum fee along the lines of $2.

But the facility could be rented in the evenings for gatherings.