Walter Fiedler would like two million euros. He wouldn’t need more to completely renovate the Seehausen forest pool from start to finish. “If there had been continuous investment in preservation over the past few decades, we wouldn’t have such a huge mountain ahead of us now,” says the 77-year-old MDR SACHSEN-ANHALT. That’s why he founded a support association ten years ago.
The association invests countless hours of work
Since then, every year in the pre-season, he and his six companions have started patching and repairing the essentials in the bathroom. “Last year the bottom of the large swimming pool was leaking, so the water seeped through,” says Günter Seifert. He came to the club through his wife, whom he actually only wanted to represent on a mission, but then Walter Fiedler wouldn’t let him go again.
The association organized donations, material and construction equipment from local companies and managed to seal the large pool punctually at the start of the season through their own efforts and countless hours of work. “The swimming pool is now two-thirds renovated,” reports Fiedler proudly. Two years ago they were able to renew the paddling pool for 75,000 euros, and the next step is to modernize the large swimming pool. “It’s still the way it was built in the 1930s,” says Fiedler.
The members of the association are particularly proud of the historical appearance. They have put a lot of effort into preserving the details that are true to the original. “We spent a long time looking for the original colors for the doors of the changing rooms,” says Wolfgang Hennigs. Five years ago, friends lured him to the club at the carnival parade. Since then he has been helping, because the city cannot give more than 50,000 euros a year for the operation.
Problem child: the filter system from the 1970s
But the club’s problem child is the old filter system from the 1970s. “If it fails, the water is green within a few hours,” says Peter Sandner. Like everyone in the club, he learned to swim in the forest pool. That is why it is important to him to preserve the bath for the people of Seehausen. The pipes have already been patched up in a makeshift manner, but actually the entire system would have to be replaced. “Actually, it’s a ticking time bomb, but installing a new filter system costs over 300,000 euros,” says Sandner.
Subsidy program: Only a maximum of 50,000 euros per outdoor pool
The state of Saxony-Anhalt is making 500,000 euros available this year to support the outdoor pools in their renovation. Unfortunately, an outdoor pool can be funded with a maximum of 50,000 euros. “We could use that to mend one wall of the pool, then it would be all over again,” says Walter Fiedler. Instead, they want to have a solar system subsidized. “This would allow us to reduce the enormous energy costs and have more money left over for maintenance every year,” hopes Walter Fiedler.