New South Bend pool leaders plan hangout revival

New South Bend pool leaders plan revival. // WSBT 22 Photo

There's a new board in charge of the Swanson Pool and clubhouse Tuesday.

That organization has been struggling to get out from under debt. An investigation is looking into thousands of dollars in funds that are unaccounted for.

The new leaders want things to run smoothly next summer.

More than 30 concerned neighbors showed up to discuss the future of the pool. They voted on an entirely new board to steer their favorite neighborhood hangout in the right direction.

With campfires roaring and people bundled in winter jackets, it's not hard to see that swimming season is over, but people in the Swanson Highland neighborhood are already looking to next summer.

"A lot of us grew up with neighborhood pools where you could ride your bikes and meet your friends there, hang out during the day. It was a safe place to go,” said Suzanne Dunne, president of the Swanson Pool.

Tuesday, new members were added to the Swanson Pool Board. Suzanne Dunne became board president.

After last summer's financial woes, the team looks to get the pool back on track.

"Kids have a lot of great memories here. Kids grew up here. We have generations over 60 years that's been involved in the pool and in the community,” said Tom Denunzio, Interim vice president.

The new board passed out fliers showing the gravity of their situation. They face almost $30,000 in outstanding bills. They were forced to have the meeting outside in the cold after their electric was cut Monday.

Dunne says mismanagement of funds from the past is to blame.

"This one person had access to the post office box, the pool shared email, the bank accounts, obviously being able to write checks and it was never able to be designed that way,” said Dunne.

She says the new board will be accountable and responsible. Which won't be an easy task.

"There is going to be a lot of work ahead of them and we were left in a gigantic hole before so every position from the maintenance to the grounds, personnel to hiring new people, all of that. They have a huge task ahead of them," said Denunzio.

The new board is up for the challenge.

"I know that we're going to have our members come back in the spring time and sign up again, because they know what a great pool it is," said Dunne.

The new board also estimates that repairs to the pool could be an additional $10,000. They have already raised $12,000 from various fundraisers.

They will hold another fundraiser at the Chipotle at Mishawaka next Wednesday. 50-percent of the proceeds will go back to the Swanson-Highland Pool.

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