Developer Dean Conn had a dream of creating a tropical oasis in Evans.
That dream is becoming a reality today as a resort-style pool opens in the Crawford Creek subdivision he’s developing.
“We just want to be unique,” Conn said. “We want to stand out as a community and provide something that nobody else is providing.”
The $1 million pool has several features not available anywhere else in the area, Conn said. They include a beach entry, a hand-carved grotto and a 35-foot curved, concrete slide.
“For the buyer that comes into the neighborhood, they’ve got a community where they want to live and play,” Conn said.
The pool was originally scheduled to be constructed in 2016 as part of the second phase of Crawford Creek development.
An open house for Realtors is scheduled for today. Crawford Creek residents are invited to visit the pool on Sept. 21 and the public can check it out on Sept. 22.
“We over-delivered,” Conn said. “We were always going to do a pool.
‘‘We were never going to do this rock structure. We were always going to have the bells and whistles. We were going to have some kind of slide. But we weren’t going to have this rock structure like this. ... The whole unique quality to the whole deal is this (cave) right here.”
Johan Marais, owner of Caveman of Georgia Inc., was hired to create many of the 4,500-square-foot pool’s kid-friendly features. He hand-carved a 2,000-pound elephant lovingly named Gertie.
Gertie will splash herself with water in the shallow pool entry surrounded by bubblers, a tipping bucket and a large mushroom to shower children with water.
He also created the cave, which will feature two large concrete crocodiles and more bubblers.
“The kids are going to have an absolute blast there, under the cave,” Marais said.
Conn said he took a cue from Atlanta developers. The Crawford Creek community, made up of seven neighborhoods, includes 7,700 feet of hiking trails, a lushly landscaped half-mile entrance and a picnic and play area for children.
Conn wanted the pool to be the stand-out centerpiece for families to play, rather than a place to hold swim league meets.
“(The Atlanta developers) were doing these very active pools, where kids could get in and play,” Conn said. “Not just the rectangular pool with eight swim lanes and looks like it was built or designed by Mark Spitz in 1971. I wanted to get totally away from that.”
The pool is surrounded by 10,000-square-feet of deck, restrooms and changing rooms, a pavilion and lots of lawn and lush plantings.
Matt Ivey, co-owner of Ivey Residential, said the pool was one of the attractions of building in Crawford Creek.
“(Conn) has got some nice features that really nobody in Augusta has done yet,” Ivey said.
Ivey Residential is building homes in The Manor, a neighborhood within walking distance of the pool.
It is a big plus for most potential buyers, Ivey said, as even homeowners who won’t use the pool recognize it adds to the value of their homes.
“To us, it was critical that the pool go in. We see value in the pool,” Ivey said, adding that in addition to the other amenities such as the picnic pavilion, play area and hiking trails, the pool “creates value for the community.”
Conn said the Crawford Creek Homeowners Association will sell memberships to the pool for non-residents until another few hundred homes are built in the community.
He plans to let residents enjoy the pool into the fall before shutting it down for the winter.
“If the water is warm enough,” Conn said, “I’ll let them swim until Halloween.”