By Naomi Hatch
Members of the Snowflake Town Council discussed options regarding the swimming pool, which is in need of a new roof at the very least, during an Oct. 22 work session. Costs would be substantial for repair or replacement of the facility, so input on the matter will be sought from residents.
“We’ve got a pool we’ve been taking care of for how many years now?” Town Manager Paul Watson asked Recreation and Parks Director Don Camacho. It was determined that the town has been operating the pool for more than 35 years.
Camacho gave council members a tour of the pool several months ago and it just happened to rain that night, so they saw first hand the problems with the roof. Following that tour the pool was discussed in a meeting, and Camacho was asked to get information on reconstruction options and costs.
“Pools built earlier than the 1990s tend to suffer from a lack of heating and air exchange ventilation,” said Camacho, who asked Rytan, LLC to make recommendations. He said that this would result in structural degradations so the pool cannot be economically repaired.
The first recommendation was complete replacement of the pool, which would cost more than $3 million at $300 a square foot.
The second recommendation was to convert the pool to an outdoor facility, which would make repairs to the building as non-ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant maintenance work. They would demolish the roof, stabilize the structure as needed, revise the hardscape and gathering areas, put in new walls or fence, and shade the area, revise electrical services, and repair the pool and equipment at an estimated cost of $435,000.
Rytan’s report noted that the pool and equipment are decades old, and should be replaced to increase performance and energy efficiency. The estimated cost was $430,300, which was an increase from the 2008 estimate of $270,000.
Camacho reported that All Custom Exteriors, Inc.’s estimate was $83,259.85 to remove and haul away the existing roof, provide and install 1½ poly-ISO for insulation, and provide and install Versi Weld TPO 60-mil roof membrane. It was noted that removal and replacement of the existing wood roof, which is damaged, would cost $45 per hour plus wood costs and five exhaust fans.
Camacho said that other building systems that need to be addressed are the pool deck, the plumbing system, ADA compliant restrooms, the electrical system and the air circulation system.
“We could replace the roof and not worry about anything else, just put another roof and see how long it will run,” said Camacho. “The thing is, everything in there has passed its life expectancy.
“The most immediate need is the roof,” said Watson. “We’ve been told that by architects and engineers that have been in the facility.” He noted that there is a bigger question, “How much, if any, do we want to spend and where is it going to stop?”
Council members discussed the options.
Councilman Lynn Johnson was in favor of keeping the pool, and compared the budget and money generated to other parks and recreation items. He noted that the Sweet Tri generates approximately $4,000 and donates it to the town, and that doesn’t include the people who spent money on lodging, food, gas and so forth to compete in the race.
“To benefit the town overall, we need a $3 million project,” said Johnson.
Councilman Kerry Ballard suggested they look into solar.
Camacho said that he had, and “it’s a big cost.”
Camacho said that they run the pool as lean as possible, only opening it during the summer when kids are out of school so they have the best participation rate.
Vice Mayor Jason Whiting suggested a committee be set up.
Watson suggested an option would be a poll on the utility bills.
It was agreed by council members that without repairs, it would not be safe to open the pool this summer. They also agreed that the pool is important to the community.
Watson will put together a public survey and let people know that the pool will probably close this year, and see if there is interest in building a new facility.
By Naomi Hatch