NORTH ABINGTON TWP. — The weekend weather looks good for Lackawanna County residents who have waited a a year and a half to swim in the new pool at Lackawanna State Park on North Abington Road.
The William W. Scranton Pool Complex will officially open to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday. According to Park Manager Kevin Koflanovich, hours may vary until the complex is fully staffed, but official hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The entrance fee is $5 per person, with discounted rates available for groups and campers.
A dedication ceremony was held Tuesday with Koflanovich serving as master of ceremonies. Speakers included DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn, former Lieutenant Governor William Scranton III, Senator John Blake, Senator Lisa Baker and William Kern, of Countryside Conservancy.
“We wanted to pick a day to open this pool that would generate interest in the state parks,” Dunn said during her remarks. “This weekend launches our summer season. And the three big holiday weekends of the summer are when many of our 38 million visitors to state parks come. These 38 million visitors drive a lot of local economy. In fact, we see about a billion dollars to our state’s economy from the 38 million visitors each year, and it supports about 13,000 local jobs.”
Named in memory of the late Pennsylvania governor whose former home is located a couple miles from the park, the new complex features a 203,000 gallon pool, a splash pad play area with various sprinklers, shower buildings, a food concession area and a lifeguard and first aid building. The pool depth starts at one foot in the shallow end and gradually deepens to five feet. In addition to traditional ladders, it is accessible via ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) ramps.
“This is a day my father would have just loved. …He’d be out in this park,” said William Scranton III, to which an audience member replied, “He would have walked over.”
“He and my mother would have been here,” he said. “My father was an inveterate user of this park.”
The new complex, $4.5 million project was funded through Enhance Penn’s Woods, a two-year, $200 million state initiative to repair and update Pennsylvania parks and forests. It replaces the original swimming pool that opened along with the park in 1972.