River Cities

Miami Springs to close new $5 million pool during holidays for repairs

In mid July, a man swims laps at the new $5 million Miami Springs Aquatic Center.
In mid July, a man swims laps at the new $5 million Miami Springs Aquatic Center. Miami Herald File

Snowbirds visiting Miami Springs over the holidays can leave their swimsuits behind as the city's new $5 million pool will be closed for repairs.

The city announced last week that the pool will be closed from Nov. 21 through Jan. 14.

The repairs include “demolition of pool deck slabs” and “drainage installation,” according to the city.

“The ponding was noticed after the first rains in July, the deck issue was also noticed in July,” City Manager William Alonso wrote in an email to the Herald. “We gave the concrete time to cure but it still appears darker than the west side of the deck, at the same time the concrete deck was very hot and we wanted a cooler deck for our residents.

The old Miami Springs city pool that served the community for decades was demolished in March 2015 in hopes of opening a new one by summer 2016.

Even though the full aquatic center was ready, a grand opening was held July 2 in time for the Fourth of July. “They have many violations,” Environmental Health and Engineering Director Samir Elmir told the Herald on July 7. “This is why the aquatic center remains closed.”

The $5 million pool finally opened on July 8 after resolving a list of safety issues.

A local architect said “possible reasons” for repairs include the construction process having been rushed so city officials could open by July 4.

“The underground contaminated tank structure and polluted soil conditions were not thoroughly investigated after being predicted and warned,” said Martin Marquez, a local architect. “Unfortunately, it cost extra tax dollars, took forever to open, the pool is too small and will continue to crack.”

A multipurpose room at the center will remain open during construction repairs.

“Staff at the aquatic facility recommended that the work be done during a time frame where pool use would be at its lowest. So it was decided that the best time to close would be the November to January time frame,” states a Sept. 26 city memo addressing the repairs.

So far, Miami Springs has issued 152 annual swim passes. Swimmers who prepay receive access cards.

“Those people will receive a two-month extension to their passes to make up for the 53 days of closure,” Alonso said.