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“What nature hasn’t provided, the city planners will.” - William Jenkins & John Knox, The Story of Decatur
Before Carrie Matthews Recreation Center was under construction as part of Director of Recreation Jimmy Brown’s “Master Plan” in the late sixties, the thought of having a pool on site was quickly dashed, not only because the Master Plan called for the construction of three new public pools but because of the facility’s close vicinity to the old Paradise public pool. As it would turn out, however, by the mid-seventies, the time to provide Carrie Matthews with a pool had arrived. Getting there was only half the fun.
Luckily, for lack of a better term, the city discovered in 1973 that Carrie Matthews Recreation Center was sinking. As a result of what city engineers could only describe as “funny soil” it was decided that the pool liner had to be aluminum. Workers began welding the pool after September 15, 1975, when the city council okayed the release of over $300,000 in Community Development funds for recreation projects. State Construction Company of Hartselle won the bidding for the contract by offering $254,000, every cent of which was from federal funds.
The Carrie Matthews Pool was dedicated on May 29, 1976, and when it opened to the public, it was the largest outdoor public pool in Alabama.