MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - Some of the best memories, especially in Summer, are spent by the pool.
"I swam on the swim team, I taught swim lessons, I was a lifeguard," said Sara Tarble, "and swimming has just been a huge part of my life."
Swimming is what made up an ideal childhood for Tarble.
"It's a life skill that I did not want these children to leave home without," she said.
That's why she took on the role to help raise money for a new swimming pool in Marshall. As co-chair of the Marshall Community Pool Fund, she says they've spent 14 months fundraising and even more time planning and preparing.
Having a new pool is what she considers a true asset to the community and one that could help keep families in the area.
"We want kids to have something to do, we want to keep them off the streets, away from being in front of the computer, we want kids to learn how to swim," Tarble said, "Another side that you don't think about, it employs a lot of teenagers as lifeguards. This is going to be their first job, they're going to learn how to teach children how to swim. It's a real learning process for them and it's all right in our own backyard."
Monday night, Tarble and other residents became one step closer to that wish.
City council members unanimously voted to accept the pool project bid of $3,269,250 from Leander Construction in Canton, Illinois.
"It's going to be an effective quality of life," said Mayor John Trefz.
Trefz says the city is bonding out some of the money for the project, while the pool committee rasied about $1 million on their own in fundraising efforts. He added the new pool will come with many attractive features, including new slides.
"Hopefully when I'm gone and the others on the council are gone, that pool will still be standing," he said, "This one here was built in the 50s and we just now are getting ready to get rid of it."
Trefz says they're hoping to break ground on the new pool by March or April of 2018.
For Tarble, it's an early Christmas gift as well as a reminder of just how much this small community can do.
"The kids that brought in their change to the pool, all the way from a dollar up to however much anybody could afford to give," she said, "Our little town of Marshall, we did it ourself!"
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