June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Engineering firm says Medina could replace city pool for $1 million

An architectural engineering firm hired to recommend ways to replace Medina’s only outdoor pool is offering a range of options.

The pool at Memorial Park has been closed since 2012. City officials said they could not pay for major repairs needed for the 60-year-old facility.

“This is not a recommendation or a design study,” Larry Brandstetter, of the Cleveland firm of Brandstetter Carroll Inc., told City Council’s Public Properties Committee on Tuesday. “It is just a review of the city’s needs.”

The company placed the price for a new pool at the site at just more than $1 million — without any features such as slides and splash zones.

Brandstetter said that recent studies have shown once communities renovate their pool there has been a minimum 50 percent increase in the number of patrons who use the facility.

“With barebones improvement, the pool will turn around,” he said.

Brandstetter’s estimated operation cost would be $192,000 a year and predicted revenue would be $230,000 annually.

Ward 2 Councilman Dennie Simpson voiced skepticism, saying the operating cost of the pool before it closed was about $70,000 a year and didn’t take in nearly that much in revenue.

Parks and Recreation Director Jansen Wehrley said from 2002 to 2012 the pool never made more than $30,000 — charging a $4 fee for each swimmer.
Brandstetter recommended increasing the fee to $5.50.

The barebones improvement would include renovation of almost everything on the site except the pool house and the parking lot.

Committee members also tossed around the idea of increasing the area inside the fence and increasing shade opportunities to attract more people to the pool.

At-large Councilman Bill Lamb said the goal of the pool should not be to create a water park-type atmosphere but rather to serve the residents who are not able to swim outdoors anywhere else.

“What the community is looking for is a pool, a place to go in the summer and swim,” he said.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @adavisreports.

Andrew Davis About Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis covered Medina city government for The Gazette from January 2014 to May 2015. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.