New Gastonia pool vandalized before it opens
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GASTONIA, N.C. -- A small prank caused thousands of dollars of damage and might delay the opening of the new pool at Lineberger Park in Gastonia. The new million dollar pool and bath house was scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend, but that might be delayed after a vandal threw in a couple of bags of cement.
The old, rectangular pool built in the 1940s was shut down at the end of summer last year and the hope was to open the new pool in time for the start of this summer.
"The pool has a lazy river, a two-story slide, four lap lanes, bucket dump, mushrooms and several splash zones," said Gastonia Recreation Director Chuck Dellinger.
The pool was just filled up last Friday. Days later, the pool is being drained.
"A little bit of vandalism that caused a whole bunch of headache," said Dellinger.
A greyish tint now lines the entire pool and there are clumps of cement scattered throughout the swim lanes.
"It was put into a small area, but the way water circulates, it affected the whole pool," said Dellinger.
The contractor is brushing and vacuuming it. Tuesday, the pool was being drained so those crews could use a special acid to remove it.
"We're sad to hear that it's going to delay the opening because we were looking forward to getting into it," said park visitor Kim Lingerfelft.
There is still hope the pool might be ready in time.
"It's frustrating, but we want to make sure everything is right, perfect before we open it up," said Dellinger.
There is no word yet on if the vandal was identified or caught.