Rennovations planned for volunteer-built Waimea pool

The 50-year-old Waimea War Memorial Swimming Pool is undergoing a $1.37 million makeover by O‘ahu-based Tomco Corp.

The pool was built more than a half-century ago by more than 500 volunteers. Completion of the renovations is expected by January 2008 in time for the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation swim meets, Parks Administrator Mel Nishihara said in a press release.

The scope of work will include replacement of the chlorination, filtration, gutter and plumbing systems; replacement of the concrete coping around the entire pool deck and the mechanical and chlorination room doors; and re-tiling of the pool’s interior shell.

In addition, new lane cup anchors, starting blocks, stainless steel ladders, an ADA access lift and five rows of aluminum bleachers with ADA access will be installed.

“Work on the Waimea swimming pool was deferred for many years,” Mayor Bryan Baptiste said in the press release. “I’m pleased that the renovation on this landmark facility has begun, and soon Westside residents will again be able to enjoy one of their favorite places.”

Credited as the driving force behind the construction of the original Waimea swimming pool project is Rev. Hiro Higuchi, a former chaplain of the U.S. Army 442nd Regimen who also served as pastor of the Waimea Christian Church in the 1950s.

When Higuchi heard about the Waimea residents’ dream of having a swimming pool in their community, he recommended they build it themselves and offered to take charge of the project.

Higuchi enlisted the support of his fellow combat veterans, and interest in the pool spread to the entire Westside community.

Higuchi then received approval from the Kaua‘i County Board of Supervisors and assurance that the pool would be maintained by the county after it was built.

The county’s Engineering Division drew the plans for the Waimea facility.

Higuchi’s effort included an all-volunteer workforce and equipment and tool donations from local businesses.

The pool’s groundbreaking was held on Jan. 8, 1955.


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