Efforts to rehabilitate Kepler Community Pool in Bellefonte got another lift on Tuesday.
The Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded a $184,125 to the Nittany Valley Joint Recreation Authority for rehabilitation and further development of the pool located at Governors Park.
It comes just two weeks after the project received a $1.3 million grant from the Department Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Partnerships Program.
“This return of taxpayer investment in the Kepler Community Pool will go a long way to revitalize and renew this asset so important to the Bellefonte/Spring/Walker/Inter-Valley region,” state House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, said in a statement. “This additional funding will go to help getting this tremendous community asset opened as quickly as possible.”
Closed for the last two seasons, the pool has long been in need of renovations and the authority has estimated about $2.9 million is needed for improvements. Previously awarded state grants, municipal support and an ongoing fundraising campaign also are being used to support the project.
Improvements are expected to include renovation of the bathhouse, concessions and parking area; construction of a new wading pool; installation of a filtration and recirculation systems and utilities; ADA access, landscaping and signage.
“The Kepler Community Pool has been a staple of the community for more than 50 years,” state Senate President Pro-Tempore Jake Corman, R-Benner Township said. “I am thankful this funding will fix the structural deficiencies in the pool so future generations can enjoy it for many years to come.”
Kepler Pool was the only Centre County project awarded a grant in the latest round of CFA funding. Statewide, 130 projects in 40 counties received a combined $18.2 million for initiatives addressing trails and recreation, flood mitigation, sewage facilities, orphan well plugging and watershed restoration and protection.
“These projects will improve communities and enhance the quality of life for Pennsylvanians,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “They are the kind of improvements and upgrades that continue to make our commonwealth a truly great place to live, work and play.”