WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Fairborn residents will now have access to the Prairie Pool on base through a first-time partnership.
The Fairborn Parks and Recreation Division held a series of meetings with residents last year for a Community Needs Assessment. The goal was to determine the priorities for programs and development. Through these meetings, an outdoor pool was the number one expressed need.
There has not been a public outdoor pool locally since the closure of the Greene County Pool in 2009. The pool, which was located beside Fairborn High School, was demolished in August 2011.
Last fall discussions began between the City of Fairborn and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to find ways to share recreational facilities and programming, an initiative that has been championed by Col. Cassie Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander.
“Building a pool would be very difficult to do and expensive,” said Fairborn Parks and Recreation Superintendent Alicia Eckhart. “Col. Barlow reached out to Fairborn and Riverside with the possibility to expand the Prairie Pool for community use, and the request went to Washington D.C. last fall.”
The approval for this initiative came through early this year. Prairie Pool, located on Chapel Lane near Prairie Housing, does not require a base pass or sponsor for community members to enter and use the pool. It will be open Saturday, May 24 through Sept. 1 with recreational swim hours from 12-7 p.m. seven days a week.
“We are very excited to have this opportunity to offer this activity to our community,” said Col. Cassie Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing commander.
Eckhart believes that this is the first of many partnerships to come with WPAFB, which will allow recreational programming to grow tremendously due to facility availability.
“The recreational opportunities are really endless once we get rolling and the pool is the first step,” Eckhart said. “This joint service will mean increased revenue for the base but it will also save our citizens the money it would take to build a pool.”
The city is currently working toward the Twin Base Golf Course opening up for general play for the community. Future possibilities include Wright-Patterson’s Rod and Gun Club and the Auto Hobby Shop. Airmen and the base will also be using city parks for their functions.
“We hope that this first step will serve our community and bring the base and Fairborn residents’ closer,” Eckhart added.
Pre-sale pool passes will go on sale to the community on Monday, May 19, from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Prairies Pool. A family season pass is $250, individual season pass is $90, monthly individual pass is $40, and a daily individual pass is $5.
Pre-sale pool passes will go on sale to base personnel May 12.
For additional information, call Community Services Flight Chief Jan Gardner at 937-257-7063.