A Jackson County resident proposed an upgrade that would give the county a covered pool and an outdoor swim facility at the same location with little construction.

Dick Darnell pitched the idea at the Jackson County Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting on Oct. 1, suggesting that commissioners consider adding a dome structure to the current pool at Cashiers.

Darnell visited Highlands and spoke with Lester Norris, recreation director about the enclosure over the pool.

“With that, you have a year-round pool,” Darnell said. “The Cullowhee pool, at this time, without a cover, would be a three-and-half, four-month pool; so this could be a year-round pool. I’d like to see the Cashiers pool which is freshly renovated have a DynaDome.”

Darnell’s “Cullowhee pool” remark was referring to a plan commissioners are considering to build an indoor pool at the Cullowhee Recreation Center.

DynaDome is a company that sells pool enclosure kits. The domes are push-button-retractable glass and aluminum structures. It would allow for use in the winter but still give the county an outdoor pool in the summer.

The company’s literature claims the structures prevent unauthorized access, block UV rays, keep out debris, reduce water evaporation and decrease maintenance costs.

The cover at Highlands cost $600,000 to erect, but could have been constructed for $100,000 less if the property had been level, Darnell said 

Darnell suggested a bond referendum to finance the cost and construction for a dome at the Cashiers pool. He believes a bond would generate support on the part of residents on the southern end of Jackson County.

Don Adams, county manager, said there are no plans to bring the issue to the board for formal discussion, at this time.

The county has made improvements to the pool at Cashiers, Adams said.

“Some time back an engineering estimate was provided to the Board of Commissioners on how much it would cost to fix everything wrong with the Cashiers Pool,” he said. “The estimate was around a half a million dollars. Since then, we have been making minor upgrades and repairs to the Cashiers pool so that it can pass inspection and be open for the public.”

Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department is working on a recreation plan for Cashiers which will guide future recreation investment, Adams said.