VESTAL, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) After standing empty for the past four summers, the Vestal Memorial Pool is about to come back to life thanks to funding from the federal, state and county level.

Vestal Town Supervisor John Schaffer was joined by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, State Senator Lea Webb and Broome County Executive Jason Garnar today for a ceremonial ground breaking for a new pool and splash park on Clayton Avenue.

The old pool, which was built in 1965, has not been in operation since 2019. It will be replaced with a new smaller and more shallow pool plus a large-scale splash park.

Schaffer says the project was delayed by the pandemic. He says there was no logic in trying to repair the old pool which required constant fixing.

“It would leak like crazy in the bottom. We’d patch it, we’d paint it, it would look good but it was in disrepair for the last 15 years, bad. When we’d shut it down and the water remaining in the pipes froze and just burst everything all around. There was no fixing it, no bringing it back,” said Schaffer.

Schaffer says the new pool will be safer and more accessible.

It will be 40 feet by 80 feet in diameter with a deep end of five feet and a shallow end of three feet that will include a gently sloped walk-in area to enter rather than a ladder. There will also be a large-scale splash park with a variety of water features including a giant dump bucket and bear shaped water guns. Plus, a new pool house with improved changing rooms and showers, lifeguard offices, and first aid room.

Patrick Harnan will supervise the new pool area.

“I used to work here when I was younger. When I was growing up, this was my job with the Town of Vestal. I ran the pools, I was a lifeguard. I’m really excited to get it back to the town and the surrounding communities. I think it’s desperately needed,” said Harnan.

The $3.7 million project is expected to begin tomorrow and be finished by next May. $2.5 million came from the town’s American Rescue Plan funds, $650,000 in state funding was secured by Lupardo, while Webb secured another $150,000, and Broome County’s Small Community Fund Grant program provided $250,000.