Naugatuck’s municipal swimming pool could potentially close this summer due to structural problems.
During the Board of Mayor and Burgess meeting at on Tuesday, Public Works Superintendent James Stewart told the burgesses that is in need of roughly $230,000 to $261,000 in renovations. Those figures were estimated by Clough, Harbour & Associates, an Albany, N.Y.-based firm that the borough paid $8,000 to conduct a study of the pool's structural problems in hopes of repairing them.
According to CHA's report delivered to the Public Works office, the above costs would be put toward structural repairs, correcting leaks and a plaster finish of the pool. See the attached PDF for CHA's entire report.
“The pool is in a worse shape than we had ever imagined,” Stewart said.
But Stewart noted he wasn’t in favor of the repairs and, instead, would rather the borough look into installing a whole new pool. He noted that in CHA's study, the firm also estimated that completely replacing the pool and repairing the bathhouse would cost $673,000.
If the borough wanted to add in a sprayground, then the cost would increase to $920,000, the report stated.
"I don't want to see someone hurt," Stewart said, bolstering his point of view that the renovation should be done. "People have been hurt in the past."
He said there was one case when an individual that was utilizing the pool cut their foot on the pool floor, requiring medical attention. When asked, Stewart said he was not aware of any lawsuits that had come out from anyone sustaining injuries at the Hop Brook Pool.
The borough board, after listening to Stewart’s presentation, agreed to forward the repairs issue to the joint Board of Mayor and Burgesses and Board of Finance, which would examine the issue further and assess what options would be financially sound.
If the joint boards rejects the idea of repairing the pool, and votes in favor of installing a new pool, then Stewart said the pool likely would be closed for the summer of 2012 and wouldn't reopen until the renovation is completed in 2013.
Furthermore, Public Works employee Kim Eyre, who handles the department's parks and recreations coordination, added "there’s no chance of keeping this pool operating (in it's current condition) another season" beyond 2012.
The 40-year-old pool is 2,500 square feet. For an eight-week period during the summer, the pool attracts roughly 4,500 to 5,000 visitors. Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi noted that many people that live in the vicinity of Hop Brook utilize the pool regularly in the summer, some of them as "their only vacation."
The department also noted that several classes are held at the pool for children and adults a like.