HELP US BUILD GIBSON CITY POOL
Since its creation in 1921, the local pool has been Gibson City’s number one source of summer time entertainment. 2013 marks the pool’s ninety-second year of operation since it opened on Labor Day weekend in 1921. After an engineer inspection in 2009, it was reported that the pool is severely depleted and the cost of making the necessary repairs and restoration to the pool would only postpone the inevitable, either permanent closure or a new facility.
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all members of the community and to create and preserve childhood memories of spending summers at the pool for all generations by developing a new community pool in Gibson City.
Our goal is to raise necessary funds to design, excavate, and build a brand new pool. Our vision is to create a community gathering space we can all enjoy, which can be realized only through the financial support of people like you. We hope that you consider an investment in our community through a donation to the Build Gibson City Pool Foundation.
In 1920, there was talk of building a community swimming pool, but the community did not have the funds to finance the project. In 1921, a group of business and professional leaders of Gibson City discussed a pool as a private operation. The talk led to action when on July 11, the group met to organize and to incorporate the Gibson Aquatics Association, listing capital stock of $10,000. Approximately thirty individuals pledged around $7,000 in stock at $200 a share and organized with the following as officers; Jesse V. Shertz, President; Paul Carson, Vice President; Guy Barrow, Sec-Treas. Elected as the other trustees, John T. Swanson, W.S Lamb Sr., Bruce Farlin, J.F. Stephens, Dr. Frank Hunt and Dr. J. Y. Shamel.
The corporation was not able to sell all the stock and had to borrow approximately one quarter of the total cost. The corporation purchased the land in July and opened for business on Labor Day of that same year.
By the time the pool opened for the 1922 summer season, a bathhouse had been built. Charges to bathers were $.25 for adults and $.15 for children. Swim suits rented for $.15 and towels cost $.05 to rent.
By the early 1930’s, worsening economic conditions of the Great Depression caused the pool organization to fail, thereby resulting in the pool’s closure. As the economy began to make a comeback, a new organization was established under the name Gibson Recreation, Inc. In 1937, Dr. A. L Potts presided as president and John A Noble served as Secretary-Treasurer. Directors were Ivan Bowers, Dr. L. E. Potts, and Walter Royal. This group managed to keep the pool open but it was never profitable. In 1950, the private group conveyed the title to the land, the pool and equipment and the City of Gibson took over the operation.
The growing need for expansion led to plans for a new bathhouse in 1958. Less than ten years later, the single pool gave way to the three pool complex of today.
In 1965 the multi-purpose, overcrowded, original pool was to be expanded with a $66,000 bond issue requiring voter approval. The issue carried by a nearly 2-1 margin. Unfortunately, when bids came in, it became evident that the bond issue was not enough. In the end, the cost of the project was $86,137. The bonds paid for $66,000 and the City agreed to pay for $10,000 with funds on hand and pay the balance over the next three years.
In 1986, because of serious flaking and loosening concrete on the original bottom of the large pool, a new five inch bottom was poured over the old one at a cost of $40,000.
June 19, 1991, the late Wally Lamb left a provision in his will that the Gibson City Park and Recreation Board would receive the sum of $50,000. It was Mr. Lamb’s idea that the money be set aside to build a new swimming pool and hopefully this gift would encourage others to make donations to the swimming pool. It has been the mission of the pool board to comply with Mr. Lamb’s wishes and not use the funds for ordinary maintenance of the pool.
Since that time, virtually every year has been marked with substantial repairs, costly maintenance and required code updates. It is still the intent of this foundation to not use the donated funds for these purposes, but instead to raise the additional funds necessary to build a new facility and thereby see Mr. Lamb’s vision come to life for this community.
(Information gathered from the August 28, 1991 issue of the Gibson City Courier)
HELP US BUILD GIBSON CITY POOL
To make the planned pool a reality, we need the support of area businesses and residents. With your support, we can help bring summer time fun back to Gibson City. You can help Build Gibson City pool by mailing donations to:
Build Gibson City Pool
PO Box 408
Gibson City IL, 60936