Tyrone YMCA to resume community pool duties in Bellwood

For more than five years, the Tyrone YMCA has assumed managerial duties at Bellwood’s community pool, located within the Bellwood-Antis Park.
“They have always done a great job so there’s no reason to make a change now,” said Ray Amato, vice-chairman supervisor of Antis Township and resident of the Bellwood-Antis Park and Recreation Authority. “We’re happy they wanted to come on board again this year.”
According to Amato, the YMCA will be responsible for the majority of operational procedure at the pool. He said this includes taking care of the pool itself, cutting the grass near the facility and operating the rental end for equipment, pavilions and the pool itself.
The B-A Park and Recreation Committee will be responsible for the park’s lighting, maintenance of the ball fields and repairing any equipment, should it falter.
In addition, Amato said the committee will be responsible for picking up the refuse. He said two local refuse haulers have agreed to pickup the garbage at no cost.
“The YMCA will also be responsible for the advertising of the park,” said Amato. “It will produce booklets and flyers that will be offered at the park. They will be distributing this information to the schools and place the flyers in different businesses and other areas of the township and Bellwood Borough.”
Some of these activities include Splash Hops at the pool, Senior’s Day, Community Day, racing competitions at the pool, swimming lessons and more.
The pool is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend and continue operation through Labor Day. The pool will be open seven days a week, from noon to 8 p.m.
Season passes are available at the Antis Township building and the YMCA. Cost is $60 for a family pass, $40 for an adult pass, $35 for seniors and $30 for children. Those residing outside of Pennsylvania will be charged an additional $5 for any package purchased. According to Amato, the YMCA is offering a 10 percent discount on the passes until May 18.
Those wishing to enjoy the comforts of the pool on a day-by-day basis can purchase daily passes. Daily rates for adults and seniors are $3. Children pay $2.25. After 4 p.m., all admissions are $2.
Pavilion rental and rental of the pool for parties or functions are also available. Price is dependent on times of use. There are large and small pavilions available. Contact the YMCA at 684-2740 for additional information.
Amato also noted a change in plans for the new playground equipment that will be installed in the park this spring.
“We had to move the location of the park by about 40 feet after we learned of a conflict that would occur during the annual farm show,” said Amato. “Where we wanted to place the park is exactly where the Farm Show people want to establish tenting. It’s going to cause absolutely no problems and plans are moving along as expected.”
Amato said with more than 10,000 people flocking to the park each year, and most being children, the B-A Park and Recreation Committee noticed a need to update the playground equipment at the park.
With a $27,000 grant secured last year from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Park and Recreation Program, the committee decided it could best be used for the playground project.
“When the inspectors came in and took a look at our equipment, they found that about 99 percent of it was unsafe for children,” said Amato. “So we got in touch with Bellwood Borough and came up with a plan to get better equipment.”
BAPRA members include: Amato, president; John Gunsallas, vice president; Sue Whiteford, secretary; and Tom Lechne and Mike Enders.
The park, which will encompass a little more than 5,500-square-feet, will contain a large piece of playground equipment that will contain multiple sliding boards, climbing apparatus, chinning bars and other surprises.
The equipment will rest on hardwood chips, tested and proven to lessen risk of injury in case of a fall.
There are two parking spaces reserved close to the gated entrance for people with limited physical abilities, and a 5-foot wide asphalt path runs the length of the new equipment area.
Also, resting near the large pavilions, will be a six-seat swing set. Amato said the Bellwood-Antis Lions’ Club donated the set.
“We have to give them a lot of thanks for what they did,” he said. “They’re a good group of people who care about the community.”
Possibly, and if funding allows, the group also plans to enclose the area in fencing.
“We want all the children who use the park to be safe,” said Amato. “That’s the primary reason we’re doing this anyway.”
Amato said the state-approved equipment has already been ordered and should arrive next month. He said the group will then seek volunteers from the communities of Northern Blair County to assemble the equipment.