Board weighs options for public pool


By Aimee Hancock

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PIQUA — The Piqua City Park Board reached a consensus for a recommendation to the city commission regarding how to move forward with plans for the now-closed public pool.

Board members unanimously agreed that the main goal of the board is to have a new pool constructed at some point in the future, with a more immediate recommendation to have the existing pool and facility demolished. According to a motion passed during the board’s June 2 meeting, the board would consider this demolition as “phase one” of a more long-term goal, with the eventual end result being a new pool facility.

By holding this vote, the board essentially approved an official recommendation, which will be passed on to the city commission, whose members will make all final decisions as to the fate of the pool.

During the June 2 meeting, the park board discussed the findings of the Brandstetter Carroll Inc. municipal pool feasibility study, which was presented during a recent city commission work session.

The study presented three proposals for the city to consider, including a refurbishing of the existing pool and pool house structure for an estimated cost of $2.5 million; an option to completely renovate the facility, which would include a new pool and lazy river, for an estimated cost of $6.4 million; and a third option to build an entirely new aquatic facility for an estimated cost of $7.4 million.

According to Director of Health and Sanitation Amy Welker, who will take over as park board president next year, the project proposal for the construction of a new aquatic facility, as well as the proposed demolition project, were both submitted for consideration to be part of the city’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which would determine whether or not, as well as when and how much, funding would be allocated for either. All projects submitted for CIP consideration are ranked according to various criteria.

Several park board members expressed concerns regarding the price tag of $7.4 million for a new facility, and all came to the conclusion that regardless of when the new pool is able to be fully funded and constructed, the existing facility will need to be torn down sooner rather than later. The current pool is unable to be fully drained due to intrusive groundwater, according to Public Works Director Brian Brookhart, leaving a semi-filled pool, which allows for health hazards and liability issues.

“This has to be addressed … I have to leave pumps running to keep the water circulating so it doesn’t become infested with mosquitoes,” Brookhart said. “It’s a problem as it sits there.”

Full demolition of the existing pool facility will cost around $300,000. According to Welker, results from the CIP will be finalized within a few months and the park board’s recommendation for the pool will be taken into consideration.

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