Litchfield Memorial Pool celebrates 50th anniversary

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LITCHFIELD, IL (KTVI) – It’s Jeffrey Bates’ job to make sure everything is ready for opening day at the Litchfield Memorial Pool.

“It’s a three-meter diving board, one of the highest around,” Bates said. “They don’t realize how high it is ‘til you get up here. That’s a fact. It looks not as high, but we’ve had many kids come down who say, ‘Nah, I don’t want any part of this.’”

For 50 years, the Litchfield Memorial Pool has made a big splash in the small town.

“Well, if you look at 50 years for a pool and the issues of liability, that’s a milestone for anyone,” said Johny Leonard, president of the Litchfield Park District.

Especially since the town tried to get their pool off the ground, or in it, starting in the 1940s.

“My understanding from the local historians (is) it took almost 25 years to raise that kind of money,” Bates said. “It was $60,000 to build this pool and they finished it up around the third week of May in 1966.”

At just $3.75 to get in, and free opening days and Wednesdays, it's no wonder the pool became the cool place to be.

“The main purpose behind it was to be able to educate our kids and adults how to swim,” Leonard said.

“…if you teach a child to swim, then he will teach his family how to swim and it perpetuates. And then we have a safer environment for everyone that’s involved.”