Groups contribute to make swimming pool spectator seating a reality

Hunter Herbaugh
Thursday, April 8, 2021
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City public works crews started preparing the area where additional spectator seating will be placed between the tennis courts and swimming pool at Lloyd Square Park on Thursday, April 1. Hunter Herbaugh photo

An improvement to the swimming pool at Lloyd Square Park is being made thanks to donations from several local organizations. New bleachers are being installed to provide more spectator seating with local non-profits and businesses donating money, time and resources to put them in place.

According to Wet Devils swim team board co-president Joanne Hynes, the need for more spectator seating at the pool is not new, however it’s an increase in participation in other youth sports – baseball and softball – that has pushed the swim team board to make finding more permanent seating a priority.

For the past several years, when the swim team has needed extra seating, they have been able to borrow a set of bleachers from the baseball fields but with those being more in demand, that arrangement could not continue.

“In years past, for our swim meets and other events that we hold as our swim team, we typically borrow bleachers from the softball teams or the ABC baseball fields and in years past, that has worked fairly well and we’ve been really good at adjusting our schedules and rearranging things... but girls’ softball has grown so much where we’ve been unable, in the last few years, to use their bleachers just because it’s been too difficult to try to arrange with them, and then last year we were asked by the ABC baseball board that we try to find some alternative means because they are wanting to bring in more traveling baseball tournaments and that kind of stuff, which would be awesome for Glendive and that program,” Hynes said as she requested permission from the city’s Finance, Utility, Property and Recreation committee to install the bleachers.

To fund the additional seating, Hynes said the swim team approached the local Masonic Lodge asking for a donation for equipment. She noted what they received was an “extraordinary” donation, more than they were initially asking for. With more funding than they were expecting, Hynes said the swim team reached out to other local organizations that have supported the team in the past, hoping to get more support for the project.

Several local businesses responded to the team’s request. These include Fisher Sand and Gravel, Evolve Concrete and Windfall Construction, all of whom are donating resources and manpower to make the concrete slab that the new bleachers will be sitting on. The City of Glendive is also contributing by preparing the area between the pool and tennis courts, where the new seating will go, according to Hynes.

The scope of the project has even expanded to more than Hynes was initially expecting. The original plan was to make the new concrete pad for the new bleachers match the one that was already there, but public works director Frank Ceane noted that the existing pad’s grade was too low when public works crews inspected it. He brought it to the attention of Fisher Sand and Gravel Operations Manager Mike Newton and they decided to include the first pad in the project as well.

“The existing concrete pad that they were going to match, the grade was just a little too low. It didn’t make a lot of sense to keep pouring more money after spending all the money to match something that just wasn’t in the right spot to start with, so I suggested replacing and I met Mike Newton out there and Mike said let’s just do it all, so that project has escalated, it’s a pretty good size project,” Ceane said.

There will also be more concrete work done around the Snack Shack, with that project also being supported by Fisher and the city, and the city will be working to address the surrounding trees, as some branches that hang over the shack have died and have become a bit of a safety concern.

From the city’s point of view, Glendive Public Works Director Frank Ceane noted there are very few issues with the proposal. The concrete shouldn’t interfere with anything and any sprinklers that are there can be moved, he said.

Hynes noted that though the initial donation from the Masons has been appreciated, the donations from so many additional entities have seemed to turn this from a standard project into a community effort to help improve something that they believe will be beneficial.

“It’s turned into more than (a donation), I think... There’s so many different organizations and businesses involved in this project and that’s what I think is the most important part,” Hynes said.

The project easily found support with the city council who gave approval for the work to begin at their March 16 meeting. Work on the project started late last week.

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