OK, so given our weather, you might not be inspired to take a road trip to the Balmorhea State Park Pool this weekend. But today's announcement that the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool is good to go again will be something you'll want to consider not too long from now.
As for the people of West Texas, they are probably relishing the end of the long hot summer they endured without the pool.
The historic pool had to be closed last May after damage was discovered during a routine cleaning. The concrete apron under the diving board was damaged and the degree of difficulty factor to restore it was intensified because of the cultural sensitivity of the site and the endangered species that live there.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department they were able to salvage the historic diving board and the brick that runs along the pool's edge. Cofferdams were put in to protect endangered species during the construction.
The project, estimated to cost $2 million, was jump-started by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Apache Corporation with a $1 million challenge grant. "More than 575 donations were received from all corners of the state, with 60 percent of the donations under $100," according to a TPWD press release. Apache Corporation also contributed a $1 million endowment to keep things going.
The pool stays between 72 and 76 degrees all year. It's a product of the Civilian Conservation Corps era of the mid-1930s.
It is home to many aquatic animals including the Peco gambusia and the Comanche Springs pupfish, both of which are endangered species.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.