Beaver Falls' Tigerland Wave Pool project hits new milestone
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Doral Chenoweth, Beaver County Times
BEAVER FALLS – Efforts to reopen a once-beloved city fixture cleared another bureaucratic hurdle last month as nonprofit Tigerland Inc. jockeys for full control over the project.
Nonprofit founder Tyrone Zeigler has worked for years to restore and reopen the long-shuttered Beaver Falls wave pool, recently launching Tigerland Inc. and cutting ties with the city and Beaver Falls Community Development Corporation to reduce the “red tape” and political setbacks he said stalled the project for nearly three years. The pool has remained closed for more than two decades.
More:Tigerland Inc. feasibility study approved for Tigerland Wave Pool
Zeigler’s endeavors, a labor of love and gift to Beaver Falls, hit a new milestone in October — Tigerland received all $88,050 raised for pool restoration after receiving tax-exempt status and signing an exit and transfer agreement with the Beaver Falls Community Development Corporation.
Once the feasibility study is complete, Zeigler will have a dedicated project cost to explore more grant options and kickstart construction — if he’s able to secure full control over the property, which is currently owned by the city.
More:Beaver Falls wave pool plans cross another hurdle
“I’m still negotiating with the city,” he said. “Once that happens, we can go back to construction. I’m anticipating to be done with that process soon. Ideally, I would love to at least have some water in that pool by the summer. If we can’t have the waves running, at least have some water. But I need to be able to have full control over this project.”
Zeigler has spent more than six years fundraising and securing grants to pay for the feasibility study and purchase new pumps and other materials for the pool, launching a GoFundMe, hosting fundraising events and receiving a $50,000 grant. The New Brighton resident took his first physical steps to reopen the pool in July 2020, beginning renovations on the bathrooms, office and concession stand at the pool.
A mix of procedural roadblocks and city politics largely stalled further progress, prompting him to launch Tigerland Inc. to get things back on track, Zeigler said. Once the pool is complete, he plans to use the organization to assist with other local initiatives.
Zeigler expects the feasibility study to be done "very soon," he said.
More:Nonprofit could take over Tigerland Wave Pool project initiative in Beaver Falls
“I owe everything to my mother to be the best I can be,” he said. “And I owe the City of Beaver Falls. That’s my motivation — my family and my community.”
Although they’ve parted ways, Zeigler said he was grateful to the Beaver Falls Community Development Corporation “for the chance you gave me to give back to the City of Beaver Falls,” as well as all Tigerland Wave Pool supporters and donors.
“I would like to thank you all for understanding that getting the pool back open is a process,” he said. “For the past two years, it’s been a testing and difficult task, but just know that I intend on delivering what I set out to accomplish.”
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