Renovation project at Dick Gunnoe Memorial Park nearing completion
After several years of planning, fundraising and hardwork, the major renovation project at Dick Gunnoe Memorial Park in White Sulphur Springs is nearing completion. Once finished, the park will feature a brand new community swimming pool, a modern wellness center and redesigned tennis courts.
The Temp Gillespie Memorial Tennis Courts are the first part of the park to be open to the public. In a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in July earlier this year, the courts received a grand christening. In attendance were several members of the Gillespie family, former US Open champ Sloane Stephens and Carlos Silva, CEO of World Team Tennis. The courts were used by the WTT as a practice facility ahead of the public grand-opening earlier this past August.
The park’s original pool was forced to close down in 2013 due to structural issues which led to expensive water-leakage. And significant damage had been sustained by the tennis courts during the devastating flooding of 2016. Planning for repairs began shortly thereafter, and the full renovation-project was announced in July 2018.
According to the City Council, the project has been made possible through donations from several local businesses and residents, as well as $250,000 from the Greenbrier County Commission. Members of the Greenbrier Sporting club contributed an additional $250,000, matching the county’s commitment. Beyond financial assistance for the project, The Greenbrier resort donated a large assortment of surplus exercise and fitness equipment to the park, allowing for the creation of a state-of-the-art wellness center.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the town was not able to complete the pool in time for the planned summertime opening. The ongoing health crisis has also delayed the opening of the wellness center. While speaking with The West Virginia Daily News, White Sulphur Springs City Manager Lloyd Haynes said that the town is “looking at having it ready for the beginning of next season. We’ve got it watered up, and are taking care of any deficiencies.”
Haynes further stated that Memorial Day weekend 2021 is the target date for opening both of the pool and wellness center for public use.
Haynes expressed his gratitude to the residents of White Sulphur Springs, and the surrounding areas: “We are all thankful to the public for being patient,” Haynes said. “We will get it online.”