Balmorhea State Park to receive $2 million pool repairs - Odessa American: State Government

Balmorhea State Park to receive $2 million pool repairs

Odessa American oanews@oaoa.com | Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 4:35 pm

The Apache Corporation presented a $1 million contribution in support of Balmorhea State Park pool repairs during a Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting Thursday, culminating a $2 million fundraising effort.

The fundraising effort started in August 2018 with a $1 million challenge grant, with Apache pledging to match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million, a TPWF news release stated. Balmorhea State Park’s pool closed in early 2018 after a wall collapsed due to years of erosion from the water flow of the springs.

The $1 million goal was reached in about four months, with TWPF reaching their goal Jan. 17. The release detailed more than 575 donations were received from across the state, with 60 percent of the donations under $100. Several other Texas companies made contributions, including Odessa-based Saulsbury Industries, Texas Pacific Land Trust, McCoy Remme Ranches, Legend Energy Services, Pioneer Energy Services and Garrison Brothers Distillery.

“Balmorhea State Park is a real Texas treasure and an iconic asset for the community,” Apache CEO and President John J. Christmann IV said in a statement. “We’re grateful for the work of both Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and were moved by the outpouring of support from the broader community and our many partners who joined us in this effort.”

Christmann said Apache would also be contributing an additional $1 million to establish a long-term endowment, which will supplement the park’s existing budget and incrementally fund improvements over time. The release stated this endowment will provide resources for enhancement projects in the future above and beyond the standard maintenance projects provided through state funds.

The pool at Balmorhea State Park was built in the mid-‘30s by Civilian Conservation Corps and is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, the release detailed, with more than 15 million gallons of water flowing through the pool each day.

“We are deeply grateful for Apache’s generosity in establishing the challenge grant and for stepping up again with a $1 million endowment,” TPWF Executive Director Anne Brown said. “The incredible response from Texas companies and Texas citizens who chipped in demonstrates just how much people love Balmorhea’s pool.”

Repairs to the pool are ongoing, the release stated.