“The NASTI’s had been practicing at the pool for years,” says Church. “We decided we could not let them do away with our community pool.”
Determined to save their beloved pool, Church, along with other members of the swimming community, created the non-profit group, FOCP, with the hopes they might take over the care and keeping of the pool. FOCP requested that the city and the county assign them the lease to the pool, and they agreed.
“During this time, we were also trying to raise money because the pool had deteriorated,” shares Church. “There were no new amenities and the management at the time did not do a great job of keeping the pool safe and clean.”
From January to May 1998, FOCP worked hard to better the pool at Forest Park. With the money they had raised, FOCP were able to install a new drainage and return system, skylights in the bathhouse, and a water slide at the pool. They cleaned up the locker rooms and made an arrangement with the police department to control safety around the pool.
“We have been operating the pool for 22 years since 1998,” says Church. “It has been a labor of love to continue to upgrade and improve FPAC.”
Today, FOCP continues to manage FPAC thanks to the hard work of its board and committee members. They open and close the pool each summer, provide routine maintenance during FPAC’s outdoor season, and host several fundraising events throughout the year, such as the annual Brewfest fundraiser.
“The only reason the pool is able to operate today is due to the volunteer commitment of all who use the pool,” shares Church.
With grants from the City of Noblesville, FOCP was recently able to add new amenities to the pool, such as a splash pad, a zero-entry kiddie pool, a new office building, locker rooms, and a concession stand, and major improvements to the diving well and competition pool.
“We are always thinking of new ways to make the pool friendly, safe, clean, and upgraded,” says Church. “We like to make sure it’s getting the broadest possible use during the outdoor months. For many in our community, this is their only accessible amenity.
”There are big plans in store for FPAC, including the future development of a learn-to-swim program, free for Noblesville residents. Church explains he wants residents to take advantage of FPAC, as it serves as a major asset to the community.“
It’s bittersweet to say, but FPAC is a hidden gem in our community,” says Church. “We want more people to know about FPAC, as it is such a unique amenity here in Noblesville.”