U.S. Congressman Robert “Bobby” Scott (Democrat) delivered a $3 million check on August 3 which is part of funding to be used to build Chesapeake’s first public swimming pool.
Scott presented the check during a ceremony at the Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Community Center to members of the city council and community leaders. Among them were members of the New Chesapeake Men For Progress who have long championed the city to build a public pool.
Chesapeake was founded in 1963 and the funding will provide resources to build the city’s first public pool using these funds.
“I’m pleased that the city of Chesapeake will be able to open, what I understand, is the first public pool with these funds,” Scott said.
Mayor Rick West said this is a way of fulfilling a promise made years ago.
Chesapeake was trying to keep up with road and utility infrastructures, schools at overcapacity, and can now focus on making quality of life improvements, Deputy City Manager Brian Solis said.
The pool will be located near South Norfolk. Photos were on hand at the ceremony to give folks an idea of what the final project will look like.
“This is a great opportunity to expose everyone – from our elderly, all the way down to kids even before they learn to walk – to water,” Solis said. “To get comfortable with it, and not only for just recreation, but at the core of life-saving opportunities to just learn to swim.”
The project is estimated to cost $20 million, to be funded by state, federal and local contributions. While this project is still in the design and planning stage, the city hopes to have it finished in about two years.
“This is an excellent opportunity for children to have something constructive to do with their time during the summer, and also learn a life-saving skill – learning how to swim,” Scott said. “Drowning is a leading cause of death, especially amongst young children, and so this is a great opportunity for the city.”