“Opening this up could result in the death of the patient,” deadpanned City Manager Ron Gorland at last Monday night’s regular council meeting. He was referring to the 58-year-old Miami Springs pool, which is now in critical condition.
There would be no decisions made on this night about what to do with the “patient,” but the information provided by Gorland and Recreation Director Omar Luna was sobering to everyone. And whatever direction this council — or the new one to be elected on April 2 — decides, it will cost significant dollars and require the pool to close for a length of time.
It had been the intent of the city to re-marcite the interior surface of the pool, which had not been done since 1998, and there was $250,000 in the current budget to get this done. However, after an inspection by the pool maintenance company (McGrath Property Services), it was discovered there were 236 voids and steel extrusions on the pool’s interior surface.
After consultation with many potential contractors, engineering service firms, and concrete restoration experts, city staff determined there are three possible options to deal with these pool issues. And none of them are within the boundaries of the current budget.
Option 1: re-marcite the pool with Diamond Brite as originally planned, spending more than the $250,000 in the budget. There would be no warranties with this option and it would be a “buying time” approach that does not repair any of the surface problems. The pool closure would be about two months.
Option 2 includes structure and surface repair, although contractors would not guarantee that the pool would not have additional settling and cracking. The cost would be in the $600,000-to-$800,000 range and could get 5-10 years more out of the facility. The pool closure would be nine months to a year.
Option 3: build a brand new water park/aquatic facility, with all new warranties and a state-of-the-art design. The cost would be $2-4 million and it could be financed at 2.4 percent for 20 years. This project would take 18-24 months with the pool being closed during that time.
“We have a major problem at the pool with rust,” Luna said at Monday’s meeting, “and we won’t know the extent until we drain the pool and get into the inside of it. The actual cost to repair it could be over $1 million and there’s going to come a day when the pool is just going to quit.”
There was little discussion by the council on what to do next, although Councilman George Lob closed the agenda item with, “We are at the same crossroads as we were when we decided to build a new community center.”