Old Town Hot Springs to break ground on upgrades next week

Parking lot near Old Fish Creek Falls Road closed through 2024

Work will begin on Old Town Hot Springs' capital campaign next week as crews build a new pumphouse. To accommodate the work, the parking lot off of Old Fish Creek Falls Road will remain closed until the completion of construction on the new pools, slated for 2024.
Old Town Hot Springs/Courtesy photo

The closure of the parking lot near Old Fish Creek Falls Road marks the first physical step in Old Town Hot Springs’ capital campaign construction project.

The parking lot just south of the facility closed on Thursday, Dec. 1, and will serve as a staging area for work on the new pumphouse, which will be built just above the lot. The lot will be closed through the completion of the capital campaign renovations slated for spring 2024.

While the parking area is inaccessible, visitors can use the nearly 150 other spots behind the building or in the lot off of Third Street. 

“It’s business as usual except for that one little lot,” said Operations Director Vanessa Cory. “For the people that are in their routine, I’m sure having to change their routine will be a little bit difficult.”

Installing a new pumphouse is the first step in the pool renovation project, which was launched in 2020 following the conclusion of the building remodel that finished in 2019. Completing the pumphouse first allows for the pools to be closed for the shortest amount of time possible, according to Cory.

There will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the pumphouse project at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14 with the Old Town Hot Springs Board of Directors, the construction team and members of the community. 

“The pumphouse makes all these pools operate,” Cory said. “Without the pumphouse, the pools don’t work.”

The building will be two stories tall and feature a wrap-around community mural. 

Breaking ground on the pumphouse is a little behind schedule, as staff waited for permits from the city, but the slight lag won’t affect the long-term schedule of the massive renovation. 

The next phase in the project will completely realign the pool area and is expected to begin in fall of 2023 and be completed in the spring of 2024, pending funding.

The lap pool hasn’t been updated since the 1980s, and the footprint of the pool hasn’t changed since the 1960s, according to Old Town Hot Springs. 

The most up-to-date information on the project can be found at

In addition to a new lap pool, there will be a splash pad, community pool, water slides and a hot soaking pool, as well as upgraded seating.

Originally, the price tag was about $6 million, but rising costs of construction have ballooned that to about $10 million. So far, the campaign has raised nearly half of that. 

The fall fundraising push has been boosted by a donor who has offered $50,000 if 100 individuals donate to Old town Hot Springs.

“It doesn’t matter the size of the donation,” Cory said. “It’s more about community support.”

Cory said the next year and a half will be crucial for fundraising, and she hopes seeing the progress will encourage more people to give.

“It’s really exciting to start construction in this project and see things come to life, and hopefully, that will help motivate people to get us across the finish line,” Cory said.

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