BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Pool will open to the public on May 28.
Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce members got a sneak peek at this year’s pool upgrades when they gathered at the Upshur County Recreational Park last week for their first in-person meeting since the pandemic began two years ago. Chamber members also met new Parks and Recreation director Jeremiah McCourt, who outlined the county’s ongoing projects.
“Even with the terrible weather we had in March and April, we got brand new paint on the floor of the pool and we are all scheduled to open May 28, in conjunction with our first disc golf tournament,” McCourt said. “If you know anyone who likes to play disc golf, or doesn’t know how to play disc golf but wants to come out, let me know.”
The pool also features new diving boards. McCourt noted that several other projects are in the works, and although he wasn’t ready to discuss those in detail yet, he said he plans to make the most of his new position.
“In another meeting, I heard someone say, ‘West Virginia is known for ‘just good enough,’” McCourt said. “I’m not like that. I want to see what we can do here and really, really bring it up to what we deserve as a county and as a community — not only the pool, but the tennis courts too. We have some of the best trails in the state, so we need to bring everything else to that level.”
He has been planning several summer events, such as the return of the triathlon.
“We are partnering with the high school — with Eric Jett, the fitness and wellness coordinator — to put on a triathlon the first weekend in August,” McCourt said. “August 6 is the date for that, and eventually we want to turn that into something that is an entire weekend event. Next week, May 17, the elementary schools are doing a wellness and field day here, so we will have 900 elementary school kids touring the whole park and doing mental health, physical well-being, and other different stations throughout the day.”
General admission for the poll will be $5 and a season pass will start at $120. If an Upshur County student has signed up for the Summer Learning Program, they are eligible for a free summer pass to the pool.
“If you have a student enrolled in that program, the Board of Education is purchasing a family pass for that,” McCourt said. “So they’re not doing passes for every student in the county anymore, they had new guidelines.”
Links to the summer program and applying for a free pass can be found on the Upshur County Recreational Park Facebook page. Community members are also encouraged to utilize the new scheduling service for the Recreational Park, found here. The online schedule will allow people to sign up for rentals, pool parties, swim lessons and any other services the park offers.
Pool goers are also encouraged to check out the new treats at the concession stand.
“I want to start rolling out some bistro foods like gourmet hotdogs,” McCourt said. “I have an ice machine, a smoothie maker coming, so it’s not just going to be popping stuff in the microwave or grabbing an ice cream sandwich. We want to start making this a place people enjoy coming to and will stay all day — not just leave, go get food and come back, but stay all day.”
McCourt is also hoping to make headway on resurfacing the tennis courts as soon as possible.
“[Former Parks and Rec director] Adam Brumley got a quote last year from a company to resurface,” McCourt said, “and I have contacted another company that is very promising. I’m excited about it — that is my number one project right now is to get those squared away. Unfortunately, the company told me West Virginia doesn’t have contractors to do that, we really don’t. So we’re waiting on contractors to get started.”