Photo by Earl Nottingham / TPWD
Balmorhea Pool Reopens
Repairs completed after damage found at West Texas springs.
Balmorhea State Park’s iconic San Solomon Springs pool has reopened to the public following several months of restoration work. The pool was closed last May after damage to the concrete apron under the diving board was discovered during the pool’s annual cleaning.
“We are thrilled to have the pool at Balmorhea open once again. The pool is a natural wonder that is enjoyed by visitors far and wide,” says Rodney Franklin, director of Texas state parks. “This renowned desert oasis is not only important for our West Texas community but for all of Texas. The work done during this project will help preserve this unique aquatic habitat for generations of Texans to enjoy.”
The extensive repair project included the creation of cofferdams and the demolition of concrete around the diving board area. The historic diving board and brick around the pool edge were salvaged. In the project, the existing distressed wall was removed, a new footing foundation was installed, backfill was replaced, and a new wall was constructed. The cofferdams were constructed in the pool to ensure the protection of the endangered species and to maintain water flow in the canals and cienegas during construction.
Because of the cultural sensitivity of the site and the presence of endangered species, no heavy equipment was used during construction.
Apache Corporation partnered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) to help fund the repairs to the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park. The fundraising effort was jump-started with a $1 million challenge grant announced by TPWF and Apache in August 2018. Apache pledged to match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. Donations poured in, and by Jan. 17, more than $1 million had been raised.
In addition to its initial $1 million match effort, Apache Corporation contributed a $1 million endowment to benefit Balmorhea State Park in perpetuity.
This project is just one of the major developments at Balmorhea State Park. Renovations to the San Solomon Springs Courts and to the campgrounds continue, and overnight facilities at the park will not be available until later this summer.
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