December 19, 2014

Medina
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Medina officials seek new Memorial Park swimming pool for 2015

MEDINA — City officials say it would be better — and cheaper in the long run — to build a new swimming pool rather than repair the old one at Memorial Park.

The pool was shut down at the end of the 2012 season because of structural concerns that included a leak in the return lines from the pool’s pump as well as bulging and cracking of the pool’s liner.

Last year, city officials decided not to fix the pool after being told the repair cost could be close to $1 million.

On Monday, however, City Council’s Public Properties Committee was told the repair cost would be less than half that — $400,000 to $500,000 — according to a report from Charles Whitmer, of InterPool Consulting.

Whitmer cautioned that repairing the pool, which was built 60 years ago and rebuilt in the 1970s, would be a short-term solution.

He said more problems would be expected within 10 years.

A new pool would last up to 60 years, he said.

Mayor Dennis Hanwell and several Council members said they would prefer building a new pool at the existing location.

Hanwell estimated the cost of a new pool at $750,000 to $900,000.

“I think more people will utilize a (new) pool,” Ward 2 Councilman Dennie Simpson said.

The committee agreed to begin researching building a new pool that could be opened by 2015.

Ward 1 Councilman Brian Hilberg said he wants to see families enjoying hot summers in an affordable way as soon as possible.

“I think more people would just like to see a pool open,” he said.

The Memorial facility was the city’s only outdoor pool. The city has two spash pads — at Fred Greenwood Park in Ward 4 and Ray Mellert Park in Ward 1.

Ward 4 Councilman Jim Shields suggested reaching out to local businesses and residents for donations would be a way to get the project off the ground.

The new pool likely would be in a “Z” shape and would have a zero-depth feature that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also would be much shallower than the current pool.

Whitmer said Council must make a decision by August to ensure that the pool would be open by summer 2015.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.