SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Lounging at Ridgewood Pool conjures images of a day at the beach.
"It's like a Key West atmosphere," said John Wright, vice president of the pool board. "It's a beach resort theme."
Wright and pool board president Keith Graley took on the task of giving the 51-year-old facility a total facelift on a rather tight budget.
The private pool is on Litha Lane in the South Charleston neighborhood many know as Rock Lake Village. It's tucked away on a hilltop surrounded by trees.
The board sold an adjoining piece of land for $28,000 and used the money for numerous upgrades. The cash was stretched through smart shopping and volunteer labor. Most purchases were made at Lowe's at Southridge and Spring Hill Hardware.
Wright and Graley invested countless volunteer hours working on the facility. They are also grateful to various others who pitched in when needed, including Danny Lanier, Eric Coleman, Matt Johnson and members of the pool board at large.
Wright, a physician's assistant in surgery at Thomas Memorial Hospital, learned about construction and remodeling from his father, who has built several houses. Wright designed plans for refurbishing the pool and plunged ahead with assistance from his longtime friend, Graley, manager of safety service for the U.S. Postal Service.
"John is the construction guy," Graley said. "I'm the lifting guy. I can paint. I'm learning."
Upgrades have included painting the entire pool and deck, building a playground and picnic shelter, placing tables with tiki umbrellas around the pool, putting a new roof on the building, purchasing new chairs and cushions, landscaping, and adding a new stereo system and porch swings.
An old storage area was converted into a screened-in dining space called "The Mermaid Lounge." They painted the main building with bathrooms and showers. The theme throughout includes summer shades of turquoise, yellow and coral.