Mayor Svante Myrick announced Wednesday afternoon that Alex Haley Municipal Pool at Greater Ithaca Activities Club (GIAC) would be re-opening this summer, thanks to a sizable donation made by local ice cream maker Purity Ice Cream.
The pool had been closed so far this summer due to a combination of the coronavirus shutdown's social distancing guidelines and the city's related financial woes. Though the coronavirus outbreak has weakened in New York and the Southern Tier region has been given the green light to enter the Phase 4 re-opening stage, which would allow some of the youth programming that had been stopped at GIAC to return, the city's budget issues would have still prevented the re-opening of the pool.
Myrick said this week that Purity's leadership had reached out to him and, feeling supported by the community even during the outbreak, wanted a way to give back. To that end, they asked how much it would take to re-open GIAC's pool.
Myrick said Jean McPheeters and the Legacy Foundation had also reached out about the necessary amount to re-open the pool, and have agreed to contribute $10,000 to the cause. The pool will be open through the end of August at least, and potentially deep into September thanks to the extra money. The city is reaching out to pool staff members now to remove them from furlough and bring them back and hopes to have the pool open next week.
"It's been a heavy time, I know you all feel it, it's been a hard time," Myrick said. "It's a very heartening thing, to have these people step up and do more than you would ever expect them to do."
Those interested in helping support more youth programs can do so locally through the United Way of Tompkins County at this link.