The City of Globe announced recently it would not be opening the community pool it has operated for decades due to insurmountable issues with structural conditions. I sat down with the City of Globe building inspector, Chris Collopy to talk about what led to the City’s decision on the eve of a new summer season and why they chose to announce the closure now with just a month to go before summer swim season begins.
Collopy says the City had applied for $77,000 in grant funding to do ‘enough repairs’ to get the pool through another season. He had anticipated they would be awarded that grant which is why, he says, they had not brought up the possibility of closing the pool earlier. They found out recently that they would not be getting the grant monies and that left them in the present predicament; a pool which has dangerous structural issues with no way to fix them.
The pool has been leaking 12,000 gallons of water a day, not just thru cracks in the pools’ bottom and sides, but more significantly through the gutter system which circulates overflow water back through filters and into the pool. This entire concrete framework of the guttering system is deteriorating and threatening to collapse. They managed last season by under filling the pool so the gutter system was less engaged, but that created the problem of keeping up with the right mix of chorine and other pool chemicals needed to maintain a healthy pool.
Signs of disrepair are everywhere. The concrete deck is sagging where steel support beams below show significant signs of rust and are beginning to fail. Large cracks have opened up in the retaining wall and in the pool itself shows multiple cracks which have been patched (and repatched.)
Collopy said a cursory run down of costs for fixing all that ails the community pool is around $450,000 – but that’s just a rough ‘guestimate’ at this point. And the City is looking to form a committee of interested parties to look into the issue and consider a range of options from fixing the current pool to building a new one. Everyone wants a pool according to Collopy and he is hoping to enlist partnerships with the county, hospital, schools and community-at-large to come up with the best solution.
Currently the pool is only open during the summer months from June to August, but Collopy says once the kids start getting ready to go back to school mid-July, the pool is barely used for the last five to six weeks the pool is open. It does host the Pirana swim team, which last year had over 70 kids participate in the summer swim program. “That’s the really hard part about this,” says Collopy, who acknowledges it is an important summer activity for the kids in the community.
The city is trying to think of options for the coming summer months including a transit bus to get kids to Miami to swim…and talking to the Town of Miami about the use of their pool which underwent it’s own restoration project a couple of years ago. But no details on any of these efforts are currently available.
Is the community pool beyond fixing? Is it time to look at all options including an indoor pool facility which could be used year round by a wider variety of patrons? Collopy is forming a committee to discuss these ideas and you are invited to join if you’d like to help work on a solution to bring a pool back to the community.The first meeting will be held poolside at the Community Center this coming Tuesday, 5:30pm.
Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.