ABOUT THIS BLOG
As my tenure as President of Gateway Heights comes to an end, I have been thinking of ways that I could share my thoughts and insights with those who might be interested in continuing to protect the legacy of Gateway Heights and keeping it going and growing!
There is a lot to share, so I decided that posting bits and pieces at a time might be the best way to share what is on my mind. I truly hope that some of you will read these entries and find them interesting. I will try to spread some humor and anecdotal stories throughout, to make reading them fun and educational.
Many of my blog posts will be pulled from a “working document,” so if you have any insights to add on a related topic, please email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to make modifications as necessary.
In the information I share, I refer to several swim clubs that no longer exist, but at one time were thriving organizations. If you and/or your family grew up in the Eastern Suburbs of Pittsburgh, some of this will be familiar to you…especially if you grew up a “pool rat” like me. But even if neither are true, you do not need to know the names of the clubs I list below to understand their journey and their fate.
This blog series intends to provide you with a bit of history of “the pools that are no longer”. It also intends to share some insights into what caused the demise of these neighborhood gems. And finally, its intent is to provide some insight into the journey of Gateway Heights from a thriving community swim club, to the brink of closure, to what now seems to be a revitalization! I share with you the hidden dangers which are lurking but more importantly, the obvious risks which are out in the open for all of us to see.
As I close out this introduction, let me share some basic facts about Gateway Heights Club, Inc. The pool sits on a 10-acre property and was built in 1964. Construction was financed by selling $300 bonds. Over the years, the value of a bond increased to $450. For many decades, only bondholders could purchase a seasonal membership. A multi-year waiting list existed. Pool membership was a steady 250-300 member-entities each summer, until the 1990s and 2000s.
In 2015, membership dipped to 108 member-entities. The organization owed two-years of back-taxes. The pool was operating deep into the red. The club was at a cross-roads and the outcome was not looking good.
Gateway Heights has experienced a turnaround that no one, including me, could have predicted. With 275 member-entities (est. 935 individuals), we are on the right track. But we cannot become complacent. Our history and the histories of other pools like GHC are important to the long-term strategies and plans for keeping this club alive and growing.