City bathhouse, park renovation seen as recreational opportunity

Shaw Place Park’s bathhouse could become a destination for those seeking recreational indoor activities.

The city administration has a plan to renovate the bathhouse next year, according to Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.

On Monday, the Williamsport Recreation Commission discussed how, if there is a renovated bathhouse and park facility, it could become a destination for children attending summer camps and organizations seeking an indoor recreation center.

The summer camp program, which attracts about 70 children each year, includes programs at Brandon Park and bus trips to Memorial Park and swimming at Splash Cove, said Jessie Novinger, city recreation director.

The renovation planned for Shaw Place Park could be a third area for city recreation programs, she said.

The initial plan is to roll over top soil and take out the volley ball nets, keeping the sand, cleaning it out of any debris and creating a community garden, she said.

The next stage would be the actual renovation of the bathhouse, to be led by Adam Winder, general manager of city streets and parks department, Campana said.

The proposed budget for upcoming recreation should include some of these figures, Novinger said.

The city spends about $300,000 on recreation, less than 2 percent of its budget.

Another part of the proposed budget will be a request for software for the city website.

Novinger wants to bring the recreation department up to date technologically and that includes allowing individuals to check the site and use credit and debit cards to reserve facilities and pay for pool use.

Currently, the city website is under construction and hasn’t been updated for a year and half.

Until the site is repaired and working, the people of the city can’t experience the benefits of the technology that is available if the city fixes its system, Novinger said.

The department also is working with Campana in preparation for the holiday happenings. Very shortly, the city will be issuing information on its holiday events, Novinger said.