By Ed Perratore
The unexpected leak that shut down Pleasantville’s kiddie pool last month is a thing of the past, but village officials must now turn their attention to a greater problem.
The main pool at the Lake Street swimming complex is showing its age.
“We’re really happy to announce what most families with young kids already know, that we’re back in business,” said Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer at a public meeting last week. “The last group you want to disappoint as the weather gets hot is a bunch of toddlers.”
The wading pool’s troubles, however, required more sweat than funding.
“We had a leak in one of the return pipes running around the perimeter of the pool,” said Matt Trainor, Pleasantville’s superintendent of recreation and parks. “Gas tests identified and isolated the leak, and the pipe was fixed and replaced.”
New liners for those pipes should prevent future leakage as well.
For the main pool, the village will not get off so easy. Officials acknowledge that they have done whatever was vital each year to keep the pool open. But now it is losing noticeable amounts of water. Among other woes, erosion and component failure have weakened the pool’s overall structure. Needed are new pipes, pumps and filtration, plus resurfacing once the other work is complete.
Complicating the challenge is that the state’s sanitary code, enforced by the county, requires that a public pool modified in any way must also be brought up to code. The kiddie pool now complies, but the main pool does not, so merely replacing what’s there would require further code compliance. The existing pool structure must be modified to accommodate new drain sumps and inlet fittings for the pool bottom, along with connecting piping.
Officials have been discussing options with Maurice Wrangell, a pool consultant and landscape architect who has served the village in the past. Trainor has also brought in Aquatectonic Architects, a department of Lothrup Associates LLP, with which he has worked in the past, and is checking with other firms as well.
Another concern is how to time such major work with the least inconvenience to residents. Village Administrator Eric Morrissey relayed a conversation he had with Wrangell that best characterizes the issue.
“The contractor will always sell it like ‘We’ll start it right after the season ends and get it done by Memorial Day,’ but invariably it stretches to July,” he said.
The cost, which could be upwards of $2 million, is of particular concern partly because the village is also preparing for the Memorial Plaza civic space and Manville Road streetscape projects. In the coming weeks, officials will consider and price four options – or some variation – for the main pool.
First, proceed as usual, repairing and replacing parts as needed. However, major renovation cannot be avoided indefinitely.
Second, the village could fully demolish the existing pool and replace it with a state-of-the-art one. It would be fully code-compliant and all elements would begin their service life at the same time. It’s the most expensive option.
The village could also selectively limit reconstruction to what is in failing or near-failing condition and integrate whatever components are still useful. This would cost less than the second option for demolition and removal and new construction, but it still would have to cover the costs of replacing or rebuilding what will fail sooner from continued usage.
Finally, a substantially smaller pool could be constructed within the current one. It would be code-compliant, retain the existing pool basin and save on demolition and removal costs. But the pool’s filtration system would still need replacing and this option would entail significant cost for a smaller pool.
Officials are currently leaning more toward the third option, selectively limited reconstruction. Regardless, all of the choices are likely to cost significant sums.
“For (the) next steps, we’ll get proposals from the parties and see what it’ll look like, price-wise,” Scherer said.
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