Letter: City should step up to replace Malvern Hills pool

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The City of Asheville needs to preserve the character of West Asheville and replace the swimming pool and restore the historic pool house at Malvern Hills Park. All structures need remodeling and maintenance and in more specialized structures — such as a pool — replacement. The pool and brick pool house in Malvern Hills were built in the 1930s, and other than minimal and frankly, emergency upkeep, the time has come for a major overhaul.

The announcement of “closing” on WLOS was poor communication and lack of concern about the community, at best. The pool has provided a lifetime of memories and improved the health both physically and socially of the people who live and work in Asheville. The community has rallied to find a solution when there have been technical problems in the past. But the support by the city has so far been minimal.

From the Mountain Xpress in 2022: “If you were one of thousands of residents who use the Malvern Hills Pool in West Asheville each year, you may have recently been greeted by a handwritten, cardboard sign taped to the entrance: ‘Pool Closed For Repairs.’

“‘It was the talk of all the dog walkers — they’re gonna open the pool,’ recalls Malvern Hills resident and Xpress contributor Kay West. ‘But on the very day the pool was to open, that’s when they put up that sign.’”

Unlike the current pattern of neglect, there was a time when the city valued its neighborhoods and parks. Funds were secured; the pool and pool house were built in the 1930s. Previously, it contained a snack bar and dressing rooms on the first floor (it still has the dressing rooms, which are dismal). The second floor was a covered dance pavilion. The pool house, from my understanding, hasn’t been remodeled since the 1970s.

Please, City of Asheville, stand up for the community and support the value added to the lives of West Asheville by the pool and pool house. Take care of the facilities that are being used and supported.

Put some meaning behind your motto — “Our quality of service, your quality of life.”

— Kathy Kyle


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7 thoughts on “Letter: City should step up to replace Malvern Hills pool

    • Think a little

      $650K for a toilet and zero for a public pool, because there are lots of public pools in Asheville…. Oh wait, there aren’t.

  1. Lyn

    What about that $74 million bond referendum that Asheville voters supported in 2016? Large chunk of that money was supposed to go toward maintaining and upgrading parks. Think twice before you vote to approve another bond (loan) proposed by the city or county. It will only increase taxes and money will get used for other projects.

  2. Bright

    Oh yes. This is just what the great city of Asheville needs…a clean pool. Comical.

  3. Mike Rains

    Hey, Buncombe County has 5 nice looking outdoor pools.
    Not as convenient as a neighborhood pool, but available. Round up all the urchins in the neighborhood and carpool to a county pool.
    By the way, Asheville taxpayers have contributed ~ 40% to the cost of operating and maintaining those county pools through their county taxes. Which kind of stinks since Asheville doesn’t have enough tax base to support their own pools. Maybe it would be fairer if Buncombe County took over operation and maintenance of Asheville pools also as payback for the financial support by Asheville taxpayers of the county pools.

  4. Lyn

    Great idea, Mike. Let’s dissolve City of AVL and turn everything over to the county. In the meantime maybe folks can go to Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center pool and enjoy the $8,000,000 (yes, 8 million dollars) pool and rec. center invested in this area facility.
    That’s why there isn’t money for Malvern pool.

    • Think about it

      Yeah, Mike doesn’t want anything but Asheville to annex everything in its path to tax and support its bloated and unsustainable expenses.

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