The main pool at the Levine Jewish Community Center in south Charlotte is getting a major facelift during the fall and winter months. Gone are the large umbrellas, swirling slide and large Star of David on the bottom of the shallow end.
The pool where “generations” of Charlotteans have learned to swim and spent their summers will look very different come Memorial Day of 2017, says Peter Blair, chief executive officer of the Levine JCC or as most members call it, “the J.”
“We’re really starting from the beginning,” Blair said.
Last week, crews began tearing out the old pool, which was built along with the J’s main facility three decades ago, including everything from the concrete patios to the pipes and electrical equipment that made it function. Then, crews will backfill everything with dirt and start digging from the beginning, as if they were putting in a new pool from scratch.
Highlights of the new 5,000+ square foot pool include:
- Zero entry on the shallow end
- A new slide
- An improved layout that will allow for more space for lounge chairs
- More shade
- Improved accessibility to the rest of the J and the J-Café snack bar for wheelchairs and strollers
- A more efficient pool system
Levine JCC board member and mother Raizel Kahn said she and her four sons are very excited for the new pool, which they visit on a near-daily basis in the summer. This pool, she said, will be an enhancement to the J’s other great aquatics offerings, which include an indoor pool, an outdoor lap pool (which is covered with a heated “bubble” tent in the fall, winter and spring) and a splash pad for small children.
The new pool is part of the second phase of a string of more than $6 million in major improvements to the J over about five years, including enhanced facilities for Camp Mindy, an on-site day camp, completely renovated locker rooms, an expanded fitness center and more. All of this is being paid for by a capital campaign, which is ongoing. The JCC has about 9,800 individual members as of the end of September.
But the new pool is about more than just improving aging facilities, Blair said.
“For us, it’s not just about the physical pool,” he said. “The JCC provides the platform for relationships, which form the fabric of our community.”
Construction of the new pool is expected to be completed in time for a Memorial Day opening. All other Levine JCC facilities are open during construction, but there are new pedestrian traffic patterns to access the tennis courts and outdoor pool.
Cover image via Facebook