To the Editor,
I have read with great concern that the Marland Heights Pool has been voted on by the city rec board to be demolished. As a former Weirton resident who lived up the street from the pool growing up I know how important that place is to Weirton residents. Just read the posts on Facebook to see the over 200 people who are upset with this decision. Weirton lost it's life's blood when the Mill began to decline. Now it loses it's heart too with beloved buildings being demolished? This pool is only one of four buildings on the National Registry in Weirton. Permission has to be gotten from that Registry before any demolition can be done and the reasons need to be good ones.
This pool and it's beautiful surroundings are something to be proud of and preserved! Have the city officials looked into federal grants to fund renovation? There are places to apply for these grants, wealthy Americans who may donate or finance such a restoration project. Maybe the Hollywood folks who made their movie here would even contribute. Yes I read about all the safety precautions that would need to be taken with the renovations and there are such things as variances that can be applied for as well as cost effective ways to make the pool ADA compliant.
There are enough gambling places in Weirton to make me sick. Wouldn't it be wonderful to provide something good and wholesome for adults and children to enjoy? Yet tearing down something good is what is approved to do? Huh? I know that Weirton along with many American cities struggle financially to balance budgets, but monies can be applied for by entities that could help to defray the cost, fundraisers could even be had. Yes cities must be prudent with spending, but this is also about preserving something that matters to so many of us. Can't we at least try? And who knows, maybe it could provide a nice little tax base if it becomes a year round park!
We are the descendants of hardworking immigrant families who made a place in this country for us. Would they give up or cave into seeing something of value destroyed. No! They would roll up their sleeves and get involved in making things better.
Yes, this is about preserving something recreational that is good that exists in Weirton besides many of the wonderful people who remain. I hope other Weirton residents speak up and then we can all rally together to secure the funding to make the renovations possible! I understand there are contractors who have offered to help as well. This gives something good for Weirtonians as well as all of us whose heart remains there to come together to save something that matters so much.
JoAnn Locascio Green
formerly of Weirton