The iconic San Solomon Springs pool will reopen in Balmorhea State Park in time for swimming season.
The pool was closed in May, 2018 after an annual cleaning revealed structural damage to the concrete apron under the diving board. It was built in the mid-1930s and at 1.3 acres is one of the world's largest spring-fed swimming pools.
"We are thrilled to have the pool at Balmorhea open once again. The pool is a natural wonder that is enjoyed by visitors far and wide," said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks, in the official news release. "This renowned desert oasis is not only important for our West Texas community but for all of Texas. The work done during this project will help preserve this unique aquatic habitat for generations of Texans to enjoy."
Because of the cultural sensitivity of the site and the knowledge that endangered species frequented the area, no heavy equipment was used during the construction process. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department estimated the total cost at around $2 million.
Over 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day, and in some places it's 25 feet deep.
The spring helps the water temperature in the San Solomon Springs pool stay cold (72-76 degrees Fahrenheit) year-round.
The Apache Corporation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) spearheaded funding efforts, and was assisted by the TPWD Inland Fisheries division, the Texas Historical Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Reeves County Water District. A total of more than 575 individual donations were made to help the efforts.
"We are grateful for the numerous partnerships that assisted with the completion of this project," said Franklin "Generations have enjoyed the pool and thanks to the generosity of Texas donors it will be enjoyed by generations to come."
Here are some photos of the repair process from the Balmorhea State Park - Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook Page.
For now, the San Solomon Courts and campground within the park are still under construction, with uncertainty as to when they will reopen. The park is currently open for day-use only, with no lodging or camping available.
We are happy to announce that the Balmorhea State Park pool will reopen at 8 am on March 1st. Renovation of the San...
Officials hope to have it finished by the time the summer season begins.