Community Swimming Pools History

William L. Welch Community Pool
William L. Welch Pool was constructed by the State College Area Recreation Association in the fall of 1958 and the spring of 1959 at a cost of $178,817. The land for the pool was leased from the State Welch Pool SlideCollege Area School District and a public subscription drive raised funds for the project. The pool opened on July 17, 1959. Some of the key people in the development and operation of the facility were Dr. William L. Welch Sr., M.D., Mr. John Dittmar, Mr. Ridge Riley, Mr. MacDonald Heebner, Dr. Fred Coombs, Mr. Harold Byers, Mrs. A. Nease, Mrs. Kyle MacKenzie, Mrs. Mary Jane Smith, Mr. Jo Hays, Mr. Paul Harner, Mr. William Gutteron, Mr. Richard Fedon, and many others.

On July 31, 1968, the pool was dedicated in honor of Dr. William L. Welch, M.D. and became known as "Welch Pool." Through 1968, the pool was operated by the association until 1969 when the facilities were transferred to the (newly-formed) Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority for ownership and operation (the land continues to be leased from the school district).

Several improvements were made to the facility over the years, including adding the current bathhouse and entrance building, moving the wading pool, making the diving  well deeper, adding a water slide, andWelch Pool Post Upgrade installing an updated circulation/filter system.

In 2009, the William L. Welch Community Swimming Pool underwent a massive renovation. The swimming pool was enjoyed for its community atmosphere, but residents wanted an updated pool experience, and to meet new code requirements, serve regional needs, keep capital and operating costs reasonable for customers and the five municipalities it serves, and to cooperate with the State College Area School District for parking and land use. The updated facility includes a 4,500 sq. ft. competition pool, eight 25-yards lanes, two 1-meter diving boards, 7,750 sq. ft. recreation pool, two waterslides, zero depth entry, interactive play structure, and a 1,650 sq. ft. sprayground.

Park Forest Community Pool
In 1968, a state grant of $122,224 was allocated for a second pool for the State College area--Park Forest Community Pool. The following year, construction started on the Park Forest pool. The pool was Park Forest Poolcompleted in 1970 and was opened to the public that summer. In 1991, Park Forest Community Pool underwent its first renovation. In 1999, a picnic pavilion was constructed, and the parking lot was repaved at the Park Forest Community Swimming Pool

To meet the growing aquatic needs of the entire community, the Centre Regional Recreation Authority commissioned the team of HP Architects and Counsilman-Hunsaker to develop an Aquatic Master Plan to provide options for the renovation of the Park Forest Community Swimming Pool. Based on the Aquatic Master Plan, an option was approved, and construction began in August, 2008. The city’s objective was to provide a cutting-edge recreational facility for all ages to enjoy.

Park Forest Pool Post UpgradeThe new facility includes a 4,600 sq. ft. 25-yard L-shaped outdoor lap/recreation pool, two waterslides, 1-meter springboard diving, 700 sq. ft. tot pool with children’s play feature, zero-depth entry, and an integrated spraypad.