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Shawnee Pool

The pool at Shawnee Park will undergo a $235,500 renovation, starting with a ceremonial bid signing Wednesday. The renovation will include repairs to the pool’s decks, walls and bottom and replacing the pool’s outdated and inadequate filtration system.

A $235,500 renovation of Shawnee Park’s swimming pool will get underway following a ceremonial bid signing at the pool at 2 p.m. Wednesday, after Shamblin Construction of St. Albans was identified on Tuesday as the successful bidder on the project during a Kanawha County Commission meeting.

In coming weeks, Shamblin will repair and paint the pool’s decks, walls and bottom as well as replace its outdated and inadequate filtration system.

“We listened to the community and they told us that renovating the pool was a top priority,” said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper. Carper added he was pleased that a Kanawha County contractor was the successful bidder for the project and that Kanawha Valley workers will be paid prevailing wages for their efforts, as required in the county’s contract with Shamblin.

About $75,000 of the pool repair money comes from building permit fees charged to U.S. Methanol for a new methanol production plant it is assembling in Institute. The County Commission will provide the rest of the cash.

Residents living near the park and the new Shawnee Multi-Sport Complex now taking shape within its 126-acre perimeter also voiced a desire to build new basketball courts on the site.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Ben Salango, who is spearheading the county’s effort to develop the Multi-Sport Complex, said four new outdoor basketball courts will be completed by May 15, and a fifth regulation-size court with bleachers will be completed a short time later.

Contractors will begin laying 700,000 square feet, or about 16 acres of artificial turf, on the complex’s soccer fields starting May 14, Salango said. The projected opening date for the soccer portion of the complex is July 10, he said.

While several hotel chains have made inquiries about adding or upgrading their properties in the vicinity of the new sports complex, Salango and Carper said they planned to meet with area lodging and hospitality providers within the next month to brief them on the expected surge in visitors it will bring.

In other developments on Tuesday, Colt Sandoro, director of the Regional Intergovernmental Council, told commissioners that he and his staff would work with county officials to identify a list of secondary roads within the county most in need of repairs. Sandoro’s organization and C.W. Sigman, the county’s director of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, would then work with state Division of Highways planners to see that repairs for the roads they identify qualify for funding.

Also, Kanawha County now has 104 sheriff’s deputies, following the hiring on Tuesday of its newest recruits, Brandon Leo Shamblin and Ashley Ellen Stricklen. Both will receive a starting annual salary of $38,500.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at, 304-348-5169 or follow @rsteelhammer on Twitter.