NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — The old pool at Waddell Park was once a staple for summertime fun in Niles until it closed eight years ago. Tuesday, crews began demolishing the pool house and the pool itself, to make way for a splash pad to keep kids cool in the summer heat.

Michael Sparks remembers jumping off the high dive and all the fun he had at the pool at Waddell Park throughout his childhood.

“All of us kids used to get together, hanging out right here on the side, hang out, had some good times, good memories,” said Sparks.

Sparks stopped by the old pool Tuesday to snap a few pictures, documenting the final moments of what was left of the pool and pool house.

“Yea, it’s a shame it’s getting torn down. I think they should have rebuilt it…A lot of these younger kids could have had a lot more experience here, you know,” said Sparks.

“Very sad bittersweet on one side of the sword but the other side we’re very excited to get this project moving,” said Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz.

The pool had been around for decades. It first opened in 1934 and remained a popular summertime spot until it closed in 2014.

Mientkiewicz said the cost to repair the pool and bring it into ADA compliance, along with other necessities like insurance was high so the city opted to replace it with a splash pad.

“We are excited and looking to really make a statement with the splash pad,” said Mientkiewicz

Through the Council of Governments, the city was able to have the pool and pool house torn down for about $25,000.

The demolition process is moving rather quickly. Mientkiewicz anticipates the whole tear-down process will be finished by the end of this week or next week with the hopes of breaking ground on the splash pad come spring.

“We’re still shooting for Fourth of July weekend of 2023 to open the splash pad,” said Mientkiewicz.