COATESVILLE (August 5, 2019) – Plans to reopen Ash Park Pool got a major boost this week as state Senator Andy Dinniman pledged another $50,000 in state funding toward the project – bringing the total he has secured for restoring the public pool to $200,000.
“The Ash Park Pool has a rich history, but it shouldn’t be history,” Dinniman said. “Our kids need a place to gather, to learn to swim and to cool off in the summer months. The Ash Park Pool should be that place and it will again be that place – a treasure and a resource to be enjoyed by residents and families through the entire Coatesville community.”
Dinniman made the announcement at Saturday’s Coatesville Community Block Party, organized by the Movement Community Development Corporation (MCDC). The news made a big splash with the several hundred residents in attendance who came out to enjoy food, music, games, and dancing on a hot summer afternoon.
Alphonso “Fonz” Newsuan, community activist, founder and Executive Officer of the MCDC, even planted a kiss on Dinniman upon hearing the news.
“MCDC wishes to thank Senator Andrew Dinniman for his continued advocacy for our community. We the members of MCDC will continue to strive to Restore and Reopen our Historic Ash Park Pool,” Newsuan said.
The Ash Park Pool is centrally located at Chester Ash Memorial Park on the south side of the city, between Walnut and Kersey streets. The 9.3-acre park has been enjoyed by children and families since 1925.
MCDC, a nonprofit organization, is leading the effort to restore and reopen the Ash Park Pool, which has been closed since 2015. The city’s other pool, located at Palmer Park on the east end of town, has been shuttered for at least a decade.
Earlier this year, a splash pad and water play area were installed as part of improvements to Palmer Park. There is also a play area with sprinklers and fountains along the Riverwalk Brandywine Creek Trail. However, the city of more than 13,000 is still without a community pool and residents want one.
According to a Brandywine Health Foundation report titled City of Coatesville Parks 2021, more than 80 percent of Coatesville residents surveyed think fixing community pools is an important or very important issue.
Dinniman, whose announcement brought fundraising for the project within about $130,000 of its $350,000-goal, also encouraged others to step up to support the project, which he hopes will begin work in the spring.
“There are a dwindling number of public pools left in the region. Sometimes it seems like the only pools left are at private membership clubs or country clubs,” Dinniman said. “Well, in Coatesville we’re going to buck that trend. We’re pooling together. We’re going to raise the necessary funds to get repairs done. And I hope that this time next summer we’ll celebrate by joining hands and jumping in the pool together.”
To learn more about the project to reopen the Ash Park Pool, visit the MCDC website at https://movementcommunitydevelopmentcorporation.org/.