Let the cannonballs and belly-flops begin.
In recent weeks, businesses and individual donors have chipped in more than $10,000 to help make needed repairs to a popular East Lawrence swimming pool. The donations came after organizers of the County Fair Swim Club put out a call for the community's help to repair the pool's leaking floor, which threatened to close the pool for the summer.
"We've just had an absolutely huge response," said Missi Pfeifer, manager of the pool near Maple Lane and Clare Road. "We're going to be able to fix a lot more than just the floor."
The pool also will get a new diving board and new furniture, among other repairs, Pfeifer said. It is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend.
On Friday, a donated crew from Stranger Creek Pools in Linwood was laying rebar inside the pool. The concrete for the new floor was poured Saturday morning.
"The response we received restored my faith in this community," Pfeifer said.
The pool has been a fixture in East Lawrence since the 1960s and serves as the de facto neighborhood pool for dozens of nearby children. One local preschool brings about 40 kids a day during the summer.
Donations began coming in after reports about the pool ran last month in the Journal-World and on 6News.
Also, 79-year-old Bill Harris contacted the newspaper to set the record straight about how the pool was built. Even though developers Bob, Bud and Al Moore donated the land for the pool, it was built by a group of citizens who banded together and formed the swim club.
"We borrowed $15,000 or $20,000 from a bank to buy material," he said. "The only thing hired out was the digging of the hole to put the pool in. I laid the blocks on the bath house."
According to Harris' old records, Norman Fuqua was construction supervisor. Ralph Clare was the engineer in charge. Work assignments were doled out in June 1961, with four separate crews.
"A great amount of initiative is required of everyone," the paperwork said.
"We built the pool from scratch," Harris said. "That pool was the best democratic community process that ever happened in Lawrence."
Tom Waner, 77, is another original member. He recalls people chipping in $100 apiece to get the club off the ground.
"We have five children," he said. "All five of them learned how to swim by the pool up there."