WARREN - The Wean and Edwards pools have been a strong part of the history of the YWCA of Warren. The organization will host a Farewell to the Pool Party from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4, inviting people to celebrate the memories of the two pools.
The pools are going to be replaced, partly with 12 housing units for women with children needing help.
Danette Palmer, director of development / marketing for the YWCA, said those attending the farewell party are encouraged to bring YWCA memorabilia and pictures to share. Items also may be donated for a memorial collage and a time capsule.
Refreshments will be provided, and tours of the facility will be offered.
"We want people who remember and have memories of the pools to be able to come in and get one last picture and tour the building. They can say goodbye to the pool and see the new addition,'' she said.
Palmer said pool memorabilia will be auctioned at 6 p.m. and include a lifeguard chair, lane ropes, kickboards, new swim caps and pool steps.
Executive director Shari Harrell said the needs of the community have changed over the years and the YWCA of Warren is dedicated to meeting those needs that are in line with the mission of empowering women and eliminating racism.
She said as a result the YWCA board of trustees reviewed the current space and utilization of the facility and made the decision to repurpose the pool and locker room spaces.
Community leaders have consistently stressed that a primary need in Warren is permanent, supportive housing for women and children and centralized access to other resources. Working with partner agencies, the YWCA will renovate its existing 51,000-square-foot facility, with that as part of the plan, Harrell said.
Developing the YWCA facility as a centralized hub will reinvigorate downtown and create a place to bring the community together for important dialogue and education around topics like teen dating violence, bullying and human trafficking, she said.
The first phase of renovation will include breaking ground for 12 units of housing in the fall. The YWCA has recently been awarded $2.1 million to build 12 housing units in what is currently known as the Wean Pool space.
Construction will begin Nov. 1, Harrell said.
The funding was awarded from the Warren Home Funds, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Federal Home Loan Bank, she said.
The YWCA of Warren teamed with Beatitude House and Coleman Professional Services to provide a quality housing facility. She said both agencies have extensive experience in operating housing projects.