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Pooling Resources

August 2, 2023

Pooling Resources

A Public Pool Proposal for Virginia Highland

In Virginia Highland, you’ll find green parks, scenic streets lined with bungalow homes, and a charming main street of businesses. But something is missing that has been swimming around in the minds of a group of neighbors. These neighbors have joined forces to dive into the project by creating the Virginia-Highland Pool Association (VHPA).

They have big plans to open a year-round outdoor community pool!

John Closs and the VHPA Create Ripples

The VHPA is led by local resident John Closs, who has already put in an impressive amount of ground work into the project. The team is excited by the benefits this new recreational area would bring to their community.

For the location, the Virginia-Highland Pool has its sights set on the “Field of Dreams,” an underutilized plot of land located at the corner of Virginia Ave and Ponce de Leon Place, diagonally across from the new Virginia-Highland Elementary. Atlanta Public Schools (APS) currently owns this property, but they are open to leasing or co-developing the land for projects that benefit the community.

The VHPA is proposing that APS lease the “Field of Dreams” to a non-profit that would raise funds from donations, businesses, and foundations to develop and manage the pool. They are encouraged by the successes of Garden Hills, Chastain Park, and Piedmont Park pools that are operated under a similar model on land owned by the city.

The "Field of Dreams"
Just Keep Swimming

The pool would operate year-round as an outdoor pool in the summer and a covered “bubble pool” in the winter. During the summer,  there would be a mix of member and non-member hours, swim lessons, and a swim team. During the winter, it would be utilized by APS swim and water polo teams, as well as swim lessons and community lap swimming. The goal of the VaHi Pool is to teach hundreds of children the life-saving skill to swim, become a fun gathering spot for the community, and alleviate the current overcrowding of other Atlanta pools by APS swim teams.

Field Landscape Architecture Site Plan
A Site Plan with Waves of Potential

Field Landscape Architecture collaborated with the VHPA to make a grand site plan. The design includes a 4,000 square foot two-story pool house, a main swimming pool with 10 swim lanes, a separate baby pool, bike parking, two pickleball courts, a picnic area, shaded and non shaded seating areas, a drop off lane to accommodate buses, and three Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant parking spaces.

To dive in deeper, visit the VaHi Pool website, sign up for their newsletter, and email with questions or feedback!