Repair estimate threatens South Cleveland Community Center's pool

Repair estimate threatens South Cleveland Community Center's pool

December 11th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Rita Hannah, director of the Cleveland Community Center, talks about the new drains that have been installed in the pool to meet new federal guidelines for safety in this file photo.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The South Cleveland Community Center's pool needs some significant work over the winter if it is to open on time next summer, city officials say.

During a recent Cleveland City Council planning retreat, the cost of the repair work, which involves the pool's filtering systems, was estimated at $260,800.

"I don't see them opening in the spring without this," said urban forester Dan Hartman, making the presentation for the Parks and Recreation Department.

City Manager Janice Casteel said the project would need to be advertised for bids in January, or February at the latest, to be finished by pool season.

But the estimate sounded a little high to Councilman Dale Hughes, a hotel and restaurant owner who has experience with building swimming pools.

"We are putting a lot of money into a terrible situation," Hughes said.

He said he would look into alternatives before the council makes a decision.

Hartman showed council members photos of the network of pipes, pumps and valves that filters and purifies the pool's water.

The major components are more than 40 years old.

Hughes suggested looking into the cost of building a new pool on or near the site.

"A replacement pool could be a bidding option," Casteel said.

Digging up the current pool could be a construction nightmare, officials said. Hartman said he is not sure what lies beneath the pool and its equipment when it comes to other utilities.

Perhaps, Councilman George Poe suggested, some empty industrial land next to the pool might be available as a donation.

The large pool and a kids' pool serve residents on the south side of Cleveland.

City officials are thinking about replacing the children's pool with a splash pad similar to one at Shepard Mosby Park.

It would be paid for from a share of the city's annual federal Community Development Block Grant.