Letter: Malvern Hills Pool deserves a second life

Graphic by Lori Deaton

No water will fill Malvern Hills Pool this July. The sound of the diving board, joyous yelps and toddlers splashing with their parents will not echo across Malvern Hills Park this summer. After years of deferred maintenance and a 2016 evaluation that determined it was at the end of life, the pool has been shuttered, and its future is uncertain. For years, the Asheville Parks & Recreation Department failed to develop plans to renew the pool. Kids, camps and programs will lose a lifeline in the summer swelter with this tragic loss.

But a coalition of Asheville neighborhoods and organizations is urging City Council to give the Malvern Hills Pool a second life by committing public bond funds to rebuild it by summer 2026. With Council’s support and funding from general obligation bonds, the pool could be renewed, providing a public space to build friendships and community for many decades to come.

As a cherished landmark for 90 years, the pool provides an invaluable public space, hosting countless summer camps, swim lessons and programs for adults with disabilities. It’s one of the few affordable recreational spaces left in our city for children, spawning generations of memories — icy plunges, 10-cent corn dogs and, once upon a time, a jukebox playing the latest hits. To witness the pool’s decline and closure is truly disheartening.

Asheville is renowned for its rich history and unique character, attracting visitors from far and wide. As one of our city’s oldest surviving public facilities, Malvern Hills Pool is central to our story. The pool deserves a chance to thrive once more for future generations. I hope City Council will heed the voices of our community, especially the kids, and come together to ensure Malvern Hills Pool remains a vibrant part of our city’s story for another 90 years.

Rebuild Malvern Hills Pool!

— Brooke Heaton
West Asheville


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

4 thoughts on “Letter: Malvern Hills Pool deserves a second life

  1. P

    Then raise the money for it. Rest of Asheville shouldn’t subsidize a pool for a bunch of privileged west asheville residents.

    • Think about it

      It is interesting that you selected to phrase it this way. The City of Asheville wastes money on numerous projects and pet funding projects, but a public pool owned/operated by the City and the Asheville Parks and Recreation Department somehow falls outside of their obligations according to some arbitrary and stilted logic of location or demographics? Well, I suppose the rest of Asheville shouldn’t pay for any public service or recreational projects wherever you might live? Obligations and expenditures occur whether everyone agrees or not and anymore, thete can be no agreement about anything except disagreement and the singularity of opinion that is concrete, unrelenting, and uselessly offered.

  2. HA

    Overheard: If tourists used the pool, it would have been replaced in a New York minute.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.