What began with a simple conversation between Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC’s) Community Relations Representative Sheila Fraley and Kenova, W.Va., Mayor Ric Griffith, turned into a project of huge proportion. MPC’s refinery in Catlettsburg, Ky., along with numerous contractors, stepped up to help save the historical Kenova landmark, Dreamland Pool.
Dreamland Pool and the adjacent band pavilion, which showcased big bands like Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Frank Sinatra, originally opened in 1926. Although a fire at the music pavilion ended Dreamland’s musical era, the community continued to enjoy the pool each summer.
Earlier this year, there were not enough funds to repair and paint the pool for the summer season. An anonymous donation was received from a local resident to replace the concrete floor of the pool, but they needed volunteers who knew how to finish concrete. The mayor turned to MPC, meeting with Fraley and Maintenance Manager Mark Estep.
MPC and its contractor experts identified that the current approach to pouring the concrete would not last even one season. With coordination from MPC’s maintenance and engineering departments, experts were gathered to develop a plan to save the 90-year-old pool. With the assistance of many contractors, MPC was able to secure an estimated $125,000 in necessary resources to repair the facility, including concrete, paint, equipment, supplies and labor.
“We wanted to ensure children in the community could safely swim and enjoy their summer,” said Fraley. “Many contractors donated labor and supplies, drastically discounted their services or made monetary donations to make this project a reality.”
More than 30 companies and 70-plus workers helped out during the continuous 15-hour concrete pour for the pool’s massive 250 by 125-foot floor. MPC provided a hearty breakfast for the workers while MPC General Manager Rich Hernandez offered his thanks and expressed how important the pool is to the community. He recalled how his kids swam at Dreamland Pool when they were young. Fraley also expressed her appreciation, recalling how she met her future husband at the pool. Many residents of the town stopped to take pictures of the event and honked their horns as a thank you.
Dreamland Pool opened on July 4 for a shortened summer season, much to the delight of area residents. “Dreamland holds a special place in the hearts of many people,” Fraley said. “With the help of several skilled individuals and MPC, it looks better than it has in years.”