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Miami Springs

Miami Springs building official: Close down pool for safety’s sake

 

Special to the Miami Herald

Miami Springs leaders voted 5-0 at a special meeting Wednesday night to immediately get to work reinforcing the city’s pool deck and bath house.

“So long as nobody is in there, you have no life-safety threat,” building official Skip Reed said when asked why the city should consider closing the pool by Nov. 15. “I can’t allow any further use of that [pool] building.”

Reed added that the city has known about the deterioration of the pool for months.

Last March, the Miami Herald published a story about a county health department inspection report completed in December, which described pool-shell “cracks” and “fractures.” However, the pool earned a “satisfactory” rating from the county, which did not, at the time, consider it a safety hazard.

Currently, the pool structure is supported by pilings that have since started falling apart.

Aside from reinforcing the structure — at a cost of $48,850, which has been approved — city council members also discussed demolishing and renovating the pool, as well as “doing nothing at this time.”

Leveling the pool structure would cost the city about $100,000 but could save it $206,000 in operating costs.

Renovation costs were estimated to be up to $700,000 to repair things like rusty rebar and cement soft spots. A large chunk of these funds would go toward fixing the “shell,” which would run about $250,000 — an amount that could climb once it was “opened for repairs.”

Council members discussed building a new pool, although they ceded that it would be an arduous process. Some of the estimates included:

• Up to $2 million for a basic commercial pool;

• Up to $3 million for an aquatic center;

• And up to $5 million for a water park.

The golf course was mentioned as a possible location until it was revealed that it would be built on an existing well-field aquifer. While there was agreement on building a new pool, no timeline was agreed upon. Building a new pool would take about a year, according to one estimate.

“Safety-wise, I would want to shore up and keep the pool open if we are not going to start this for a year,” said Councilman Bill Windrem, who expressed concern for area youths and seniors. “I don’t think our community should be without a pool for a year.”

“If we find it is not fit for use, it could be closed,” he said.

The next city council meeting takes place on Monday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. at city hall.

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